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St Mar i 



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1980-81 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 



http://archive.org/details/muse19811985sain 



On these bleak climes by 
Fortune thrown, 

Where rigid Reason reigns alone 
Where lovely Fancy has no 

sway, 
Nor magic forms about us 

play- 
Nor nature takes her 

summer hue — 

Tell me, what has the 
muse to do? 

Philip Freneau 
1788 



The 1981 Muse is dedicated to Elizabeth Marlowe in loving memory. 
Elizabeth Marlowe was a member of the Muse staff, and part of her is in these pages. 




Gigi Taylor 



The Wait 

I caught a glimpse in the dappled drizzly dawn 

of a Falcon 
Hovering in quiet solitude over a withered brown 

cornfield, waiting on his prey. 
Brute beauty, valour, and pride rode the air 

in rolling unison. 
Stirred for a bird, my heart stood in 

loitering anticipation — 
The Prey sauntered slowly, innocent of the 

talons that marked his life. 
Suddenly, wings buckle! Down in fiery fury 

the Falcon dropped 
Exquisite beauty and horror in undaunted action. 

The fire that broke from him, a million times told 

lovelier, but dangerous. 
Wonder in it — the innocence, the horror, 

the gashed scarlet vermillion. 

Anna Tate 

Third Place, Poetry 

Muse Contest 



The Miracle 




.«*£* 

J#~ 



Janet Berkeley 

Third Place, Photography 

Muse Contest 



There's almost no sound 

as we walk along the path 

towards our destination 

The tents and campers are still 

a dog barks disturbing the silence 

We hear a steady crashing of water 

Up and back, up and back 

Atop the sand dune we stand arm in arm 

Looking into the black curtain 

We hear the beating of the waves but only 

see them in our minds 

There we stand hypnotized 

only a few moments 

Still the constant crash goes on 

Soon a glimmer of light 

and we see our sound 

Then the sky is inflamed 

with day 

Showing us the miracle we had been 

listening to. 

Mary Dixon 




Mindy Russell 



Pyro — 

Sunrise lights the fire; 

luminous 
clouds like embers 
burn, then, fizzle 
out in the watery sky. 

Mary Grady Koonce 

Second Place, Poetry 

Muse Contest 



( 



?.\ 




Susan Adams 
Third Place, Art 
Muse Contest 



During One of Those Hard Times 

If you were a beer can, 

I'd bend you back and forth 

Until you broke in half. 

If you were a car, 

I'd total you and 

Send you to the junk yard. 

If you were a piece of paper, 

I'd ball you up and 

Throw you in the nearest trash can. 

But you are a Person. 

You have feelings the same as I. 

I don't know what to do. 

Becka Caldwell 




fl^3> L 



Petals 

Walking through meadows 
picking daisies 
plucking their petals, 
Giving them names 
talking to them as though 
they are who they are named for. 
But the rain comes 
falls on the daisies 
one 
by 



sparkling diamonds on white velvet. 

The flowers and I 

understand one another. 

Why then can't we talk like the flowers? 

Elizabeth Jane Archer 




Julia Ridgeway 
Second Place, Art 
Muse Contest 




Gigi Taylor 



Garden of Eden 

A fraternity party 

(a group on a terrace) 

without any brotherhood 

proceeds under colorless 

purple sunset clouds, 

sunlight casting its afternoon 

farmhouse warmth 

across the doorsill 

sparkling on 

hollow kegs 

and a muzzy rug. 

Evening silence 

plays back-up 

for bluegrass bands: 

out under the Chinaberry tree 

Love, fine as Sevres, 

cracks as a tongue falls heavily; 

then, comes the silence, 

knowingly, with fraternity. 

Mary Grady Koonce 




': 



Click 

The serenity was broken by a loud RING RING! 
Nicole shot up. Her eyes popped open and her heart 
seemed to skip a beat because she sat up so quickly. 
Nicole managed to find the small button of the alarm, 
turn it off, and the ringing sound stopped. She instantly 
dropped back to her pillow and pulled the sheets 
around her neck, her heart considerably slowed down 
after being startled by the ringing alarm. 



Nicole opened her eyes again and glanced at the 
round face of the clock. When she realized she was late 
for work, she shot out of bed and started to the 
bathroom. 

Before Nicole got to the bathroom, she heard a 
small squeaking noise coming from the kitchen. "I bet- 
ter not have to get out those mouse traps again," 
Nicole muttered to herself. When Nicole got to the 
kitchen, she did not find any mice making the squeak- 
ing noise. What Nicole saw made her eyes grow wide 
with amazement and sent a chill down her spine that 
eventually shook her whole body. 

Two small wind-up dolls were slowly rolling across 
the yellow-squared linoleum floor. The squeaking noise 
was coming from one of the small black tires on the bot- 



J> 




Susan Adams 



torn of the dolls. Nicole shivered again as she wondered 
what crazy person might have put the dolls there. As 
Nicole looked at the dolls closer, she saw that one of 
the dolls was a man wearing a white suit, a black shirt, 
and a miniature white tie. Nicole thought that the way 
the doll was dressed was unusual because most contem- 
porary men never wear white suits and black shirts. 
This wardrobe was reserved for the gangsters of the 
1930's who shot people to death with their machine 
guns. 

As the dolls squeaked closer to her bare feet, 
Nicole's heart jumped as it had earlier when her Big 
Ben clock had wakened her. Nicole was startled 
because the other doll was a small version of herself 
dressed in the nightgown that she wore now. 

At that moment, the dolls stopped in the middle of 
one of the yellow linoleum squares. Nicole stared at the 
dolls and finally laughed when the dolls remained in the 
same place for a minute. "I am so silly. That crazy 
boyfriend of mine must be playing a practical joke on 
me," she said to herself. Nicole approached the two im- 
moveable little creatures so that she might place them 
on one of the yellow plastic-topped counters and give 
them back to her boyfriend later. 

When Nicole reached down, the little gangster 
wind-up doll began to make a small purring noise as if 
its motor was still running. Then Nicole saw the little 
gangster pull out a gun. The doll let out a definite click 
as the gun was raised, pointed, and cocked at the other 
doll. With another purr of the motor, a bang was heard 
as if the gun had been fired. Nicole smiled and said, 
"My boyfriend keeps me so amused." 

However, the next instant Nicole's smile faded as a 
pool of red began to seep out of the doll in the 
nightgown. The pool grew and grew until it had begun 



running between Nicole's toes. "This little practical 
joke is getting out of hand and is getting too 
grotesque," she thought balefully. 

Nicole then went to the sink to find a cloth to wipe 
up what she supposed was red-colored water. "My 
boyfriend sure was able to get a deep rich shade of red. 
It almost looks like real blood," she thought. As she 
started across the kitchen, she noticed her toes were 
sticking to the floor as she walked, as though the water 
was clotting like blood. 

Nicole stopped. Shivers ran down her spine and 
legs. She screamed when she heard the click of the 
gangster doll as he dropped his gun to his side and 
squeaked back across the kitchen floor. She looked back 
at the doll which was dressed in the nightgown like her 
own. It was lying in the middle of the pool of red with 
streaks of the color on its nightgown and hair. 

RING! Nicole sat straight up and turned the Big 
Ben alarm clock off. "What a horrible nightmare," she 
groaned. Then she realized that as she had jumped up 
to turn off her alarm clock, her bed had squeaked like 
the sound of the unoiled wheels of the doll in her 
nightmare. Nicole laughed to herself. "I must have been 
half awake and just heard my bed squeak." 

However, after such a bad nightmare, Nicole was 
still shaky and cautiously went to the kitchen to have 
some orange juice to calm her nerves. As she closed the 
refrigerator door and turned around, Nicole heard a 
squeak and saw the same two dolls of her dream 
heading toward her. She swallowed hard as a pool of 
red spread toward her. She thought she heard a squeak 
as heavy feet ascended the steps to her upstairs apart- 
ment and then, close to her ear, a click like the sound 
that was made by the miniature gangster doll. 

Anne Perry 




Florence Norris 






o.S3B*»~ 




Laura Culburtson 



Breaker 



Long ago you took my hand 

Pulling me towards the sea's outstretched palm. 

The waves rose and smashed before my eyes. 

I was afraid. 

Though one swelled dangerously near 

You held my hand 

And I was brave. 

Suddenly I lost the ocean floor 

Twisted and somersaulted with the breaker 

Which came crashing down on me, 

Tossing and tumbling until I knew not 

Where I was. 

Oh mother — I cried, I panicked, 

Where did you go? — 

And why did you drop my tiny hand? 

I thought that I might die — 

Opening my eyes all was void and empty. 

Green and hazy, the water stung 

And I could not understand. 

I longed to squint at the sun 

And sit on the warm, sandy shore. 

Then I felt the strength of your arms grabbing me 

From behind, lifting me above the void 

Towards the sky 

Giving me life again. 

Joceiyn Lynch Davis 



The Lake 

The place where I live 

Has a lake 

In summer the ripples look 

like glass. 

In winter the thin ice 

Looks like tape 

trying to hold the water together so none 

of it will run away. 

Penney Lide 




Caroline Brown 




,?ence Norris 

''st Place, Photography 

ise Contest 



Robin Naiswald 




^ ^ rf 



Poem 

Remember falling down the Rabbit Hole and 
slipping into Wonderland or a time of laughing, 
crying, singing, caring, and giving? 

Mostly do you remember the times we lived 
together here beneath the trees, beside the 
running brook, under the warm sun, and shining 
stars? 

Take your Rabbit Hole and Wonderland with 
you, wherever you may go. 

Ashlyn Martin 



Flesh, Not Tin 

Hand in hand, 

Walking in the rain. 

Some people think 

That we're not quite sane. 

Maybe we're not, 

But sometimes I'm glad, 

For sanity, sometimes, 

Can make you go mad. 

Cold and wet, 

Soaked right through the skin. 

I'm glad I was born, 

Of flesh and not tin. 

Think about rusting, 

Just taking a walk. 

Can you imagine, 

How the neighbors would talk? 

Sally Ryon 




TT 



l.TLP i TTga 



hi iiJLirr 



Mary Jacque Holroyd' 



Dimensions of Time 

Sand in an hour glass 
can never trace 
the footfalls of minutes 
wandering through a mind; 
whether they hasten on or 
loiter along the way — 

a grain of sand can never say- 
in what dimension 
the mind and minutes walk. 




Laura Culburtson 



Mary Grady Koonce 




A County Fair 

I sat down disgustedly on the sticky bench and 
wondered why I even bothered coming to the Zetella 
County Fair. Every year it gets increasingly worse. 
The people do not improve either. Their beards get 
longer, their breath fouler, and their fingernails dirtier. 
It is a miracle people even bother to come anymore. 
The air stays heavy with the odor of corndogs and 
burnt popcorn. If I had not wanted a stuffed animal so 



badly I would have stayed home cuddled by the 
fireplace reading The Shining. But I was drawn by the 
thought of a stuffed animal, so I plied myself up from 
the glue-like bench and headed down the fairway. 

My head began to swim just watching the rock-o- 
planes and the rock-and-roll. I was proud of myself 
when I managed the ferris wheel without that usual 



queasy feeling. Glancing around at the various games I 
immediately spotted the stuffed animal of my dreams. 
He was a huge teddy bear with big brown lazy eyes 
and a cute pink tongue. I named him Sam and at- 
tempted to break through the crowd towards him. 

I laid down my fifty cents on the counter in ex- 
change for four featherlike baseballs. I simply refused 
to smile at the ugly man, though he persisted in wink- 
ing and showing his toothless grin to me. 

"Now sweetheart, this here's the easiest little ole 
game 'round these parts. Just knock over dim dere 
bowling pins and you can have any ole stuffed cridder 
you want!" he said. 

I could not help but laugh at his back-country ac- 
cent but most of my attention was focused on poor old 
Sam. He seemed so unhappy hanging from the dingy 
beam. I was determined to be his knight in shining ar- 
mour and rescue him. 

I reeled back and threw the little ball. It did not 
take me long to figure out that the bowling pins were 



made of no less than lead. But that did not stop me — I 
had three balls left. 

Smiling sweetly I asked, "Don't you have any 
heavier balls, or perhaps lighter pins?" 

He smiled that av/ful smile and grunted, "Naw." 

I jumped back because it was the first time I had 
smelled his breath. I reasoned that without teeth there 
was no reason for him to brush, so his breath was far 
less than satisfactory. I threw two more of the precious 
balls and missed again. I was becoming exasperated. 
Sam was really looking sad too. 

At that moment from the other side of the stand I 
heard the excited squeal of a young girl. My heart skip- 
ped a beat as I saw her pointing to my Sam. I tried to 
protest but the bratty little girl disappeared into the 
crowds with Sam over her shoulder. 

I dropped the last ball on the counter and headed 
for home. Silently I vowed never to come to the Zetella 
County Fair again. 

Emily Shapard 



/,¥ 








Seasons 

February jonquils, 

Now kittens play among the dead stalks; 

White petaled apple trees 

cast shadows where the 



final 



apples 
fall 
and 
wither 
among the now grown cats, 
lying near a ripe 
persimmon tree. 



Mary Grady Koonce 



Catherine H. Davis 




Margaret Norris 

Second Place, Photography 

Muse Contest 



A Phantasy 
St. Mary's Chapel 1981 

White under green, sacred, past and present. 

Drawn — by its serenity into its enchantment. 

Seated— on its sixth pew, midway. 

Alone — but not alone. 

Silent —amidst the historic pattern of sounds. 

Perhaps 1881. A soft, dusty sound 

Of cotton dress brushing on oaken pew; 

The movement transmitting itself to my awareness 

As lightly as an anticipated touch. 

A voice. A song not meant for my ear, 

Pleasant as its pensive tone 

Reveals its innocent source of young womanhood, 

An invisible presence that creates a current phantasy 

That dissolves a century, influencing today. 

B. Wick 





Gigi Taylor 



As A Stag 

As dusk began to close in on them, the biting night 
air stung his fingertips and the end of his nose. Slowly 
and cautiously he moved his cramped legs, carefully 
trying not to snap a twig or crackle a leaf. They had 
been out hunting in the woods since dawn, and this was 
his favorite time of the day — the air so cold it hung 
heavily from the trees all around him; his breath sent 
out clouds of frosty smoke, and the silence ... so deep 
and penetrating. Weston felt an inner peace at these 
moments, binding him to nature in a way he never ex- 
perienced with people. It created in him emotions of 
humility, awe, and yet power. 

Strains of the moon's beams streaked softly 
through the trees, filtering into the small clearing he 
faced, like spotlights on a stage. Instinctively he was 
aware of a presence near him — the smell and change of 
air that occurs when something moves against the 
wind. Weston heard the rustling of branches, and felt 
an alertness surging through his veins. He felt Eleanor 
tighten her grasp on her shotgun beside him — both of 
them waiting, watching, and listening. Abruptly, into 



the pool of light, stepped a stag. The beast was 
huge — tremendous antlers, massive shoulders and neck 
muscles that rippled as he slowly turned his powerful 
head. His coat was of a soft brownish hue, glistening 
and shining. He carried the mark of a deep black streak 
down the center of his large back. Weston's father once 
said that a stag with a black streak was the purest line 
of deer— regal and beautiful. The creature stood totally 
still, absorbing the light through the trees, absolving 
the light through the trees, and the tranquility of the 
moment. As if in a trance, Weston never let his eyes 
leave the stag. And quietly, gently, he raised his rifle to 
his shoulder . . . took careful aim . . . 

"NO!" 

Weston jumped, the stag started, and with a rapid 
bound sprang into the darkness and was gone. 

Weston turned angrily toward his younger sister 
Eleanor, and found himself looking into her furious 
eyes. Eleanor was sixteen— tall, long-legged, possessing 
a beauty enhanced by her unawareness of it. Her dark 
hair tumbled around her shoulders, and her startling 
light blue eyes expressed an anger and disbelief at 
Weston. Of all the people in the world, Weston loved 
Eleanor the most, for she understood and believed in 
him. 



"Weston!" she hissed. "How could you even think 
of shooting that beautiful animal?" 

Weston felt the color drain into his face. "But 
Eleanor, you know we need to bring in all the game we 
can. That was a perfectly clear shot! I can't believe you 
shouted and ruined such a perfect chance." Weston 
stood up, feeling the tension drain from his body. He 
too was dark-headed, but his eyes were more grey than 
blue. He had a big chest and neck. His strong jaw and 
chin line gave him a look of control and coherence. He 
was very much like his sister. 

He looked down at Eleanor, half-hidden in the 
shadows. "Come on" he said, "it's getting late." She 
slowly rose up. Gathering her equipment, she began to 
walk home without a glance at Weston. 

"Hey Eleanor," he called softly. She halted but did 
not turn to look at him. "I'm glad you stopped me. I 
don't think I could have done it anyway. He was a sight 
I'll never forget." 

Eleanor turned, and gazed at Weston, pausing. "I 
know. Let's go now — it's late." 

The pair began to walk home, both lost in their 
own thoughts. Drifts of snow crunched under their feet, 
and Weston listened to the sounds of the forest animals 



in the distance. Soon he saw far ahead of them points of 
light from home. He was sure Mother was waiting din- 
ner for them, and he felt content thinking about the 
downy bed and warm meal that waited. As he and 
Eleanor entered the large log cabin that was home, he 
smelled the aroma of stew and freshly-baked biscuits, 
making his mouth water. Father was sitting in front of 
the fireplace, reading the paper and smoking his pipe. 
He was a man of great size and standards — a disciplina- 
rian in the strictest sense to the boys, but far more 
gentle with his only daughter, Eleanor. Both of the 
older boys, James and Richard, were involved in a 
game of checkers. As Weston and Eleanor entered, 
they called a greeting to them, and headed for the 
kitchen. Weston felt the same feelings of alienation 
creep up his spine that he always felt in the presence of 
his brothers and father. They were all so hearty and 
boisterous. As children, they had teased Weston unmer- 
cifully about his love of dancing. They had never 
understood the feelings he experienced when he heard 
strains of music — a feeling of wanting to move and ex- 
pand and be with the tempo and the melody. So he was 
detached from the rest of the men in his family — an 
outsider among them, always ill-at-ease. Only Eleanor 
knew what he felt, for she danced, too. But for Eleanor, 
the family approved. How proudly they sat and 
watched her dance in recitals as a child. How proud 
they were that she now studied at the conservatory. 
How proud they were that she had learned to be like 
them too — to hunt and chop wood and ride a horse. 
Weston felt the sting of envy, and was ashamed of it. 
He was ashamed that he could feel this most base of 
emotions, especially about Eleanor, for he adored her. 
And yet ... it pained him to hear his father ridicule 
him about his attending the conservatory. Last spring 
he had secretly auditioned for the school, and on hear- 
ing of his acceptance hid the fact all summer. He was 
bursting to tell someone, but he knew they would never 
have allowed him to go. So when the fall came and all 
the children went off to school, Weston had packed and 



pretended to go to the state university as the family 
had planned. He offered to take Eleanor to the Conser- 
vatory on his way. Father had given them blank checks 
to fill out once at school for their tuition. Weston, 
however, had stayed at the Conservatory with Eleanor, 
rather than going on to the state university. Weston 
had written the check to the school, been admitted, and 
had attended classes — dancing, dancing, dancing. 
Father never knew until he received the returned 
check. By then it was too late to enter the University, 
so Weston had to stay at the Conservatory. His father 
found it hard to forgive, and was disappointed in this 
son. 

The holidays ended, and Weston was relieved to 
leave home and return to school. He and Eleanor trav- 
eled there together. The day was crisp and bright, and 
the two talked of the holidays and the coming ballet 
auditions for the annual festival. It was the highlight of 
the year, for the parts were assigned only to students 
who danced very well, and the rest given to profes- 
sionals. It was an exciting opportunity for the students, 
for they would receive direction from some of the 
leading dancers of the day. As the car rounded the 
bend to school, both Weston and Eleanor ceased speak- 
ing to stare at the main building of the Conservatory. It 
always created in him the same thrill and electric 
charge. The building was graceful and large — white 
stone columns holding erect the white marble of the 
place, the span of the many steps that led to this haven 
of hope and dreams. There were forty of those marble 
steps — Weston had counted them many times as he 
went to and from classes. They symbolized this place to 
him. They were the steps that led him to the only 
refuge he knew — dance. 

Classes resumed and Weston and Eleanor fell into 
the routine of the Conservatory again. It never really 
was routine for Weston, for he loved the feelings of 
consistency and security the schedules provided. Audi- 
tions for the parts in the ballet were posted. The whole 



company of students became increasingly tense as the 
date approached. All practiced for hours every day, try- 
ing to perfect their flaws, envisioning themselves on 
the stage. As the day of tryouts dawned, Weston met 
Eleanor at the rehearsal studio. As they warmed their 
muscles up, Weston watched Eleanor practice. He not- 
iced the fluidity of her movements, and the emotion 
that shone from her body and face. She was very good 
. . . she was excellent. 

Weston walked onto the stage for his audition. 
Sweat broke out on his face and back. His heart 
pounded, his stomach churned. Then the music began. 
It was low, floating, entrancing. He began to move — to 
feel the music and to express that feeling. He thought 
of the cold and the still of the air at dusk. He thought 
of the woods and the smells of nature he so loved. The 
music rose and the beat became more powerful. His 
mind focused on a moment in the past. He thought of 
the stag. He danced as if he were the stag — the power, 
the innocence, the beauty. He remembered the way the 
stag breathed in the moonlight, how he forced his 
presence on those that beheld him. The music became 
louder, it became more intense. Weston let his mind 
guide his dancing. He concentrated on the stag, and the 
keenness of the beast. Suddenly, the music hit a high 
tension, and Weston recaptured the emotion of the mo- 
ment that he had prepared to shoot the animal that 
night in the woods. Then a loud crash of symbols 
startled him — he sprang in the air, he lept aside. He 
was the stag in flight in the surprised moment of that 
night. 

The strains of music became softer and then faded. 
Weston opened his eyes, abruptly aware that he had 
been dancing his audition. There was complete silence 
as he left the stage, confused. No one moved; they all 
stared at him without speaking. Weston walked out the 
door in a dazed state, unseeing, but vaguely aware that 
something magic had happened. Eleanor stood in the 



hall, and as he emerged she ran to him and held him. 
Tears slid down her face, and she did not say a word. 
No word needed to be said. 

The parts were eventually cast. Weston won the 
lead student role for males, and Eleanor coincidentally 
won the female role. Both were astonished and pleased. 
The ballet was an old one about the trials and tribula- 
tions of a family. Practices were long and difficult, 
requiring the performers to be unyielding in their en- 
durance. Time swiftly passed until all was ready for 
opening night of the production. Mother and Father 
were coming for the show, as well as James and 
Richard. Weston felt a knot of nervousness inside him 
at all times now — more from the apprehension of danc- 
ing before his father and brothers than from dancing 
before the whole audience. The family was coming 
because of Eleanor, and because his Mother had 
demanded they go. His Father said he felt ashamed 
that his son would be dancing for all to see. He did not 
want to face the "spectacle" Weston would make of 
himself. Weston would prove him wrong. He would 
make no spectacle of himself, but make his father see 
how good he was. He would make them understand. He 
would make them as proud of him as they were of 
Eleanor, by being so spell-binding that they would be 
speechless. This determination drove Weston onward. 
It was what gave him the strength to sustain those 
rigid rehearsals. It possessed him so totally and com- 
pletely that he ignored the protests of his body in his 
effort for perfection. He urged himself to the point of 
collapse, and diligently continued. 

Performance night shone bright and lively. Weston 
felt a tingle in the air born of anticipation and 
adrenalin. He was silent behind the scenes, putting on 
make-up, costume, and concentrating on his part. 
Eleanor looked vibrant as she prepared to perform. 
Mother, Father, and the boys were out front, waiting 
with the rest of the audience. The auditorium was 



crowded with people who came to see the show, and 
view this young man and girl who were reputed to be 
amazing. The overture began, and the lights dimmed. 
The curtain rose, and the magic of a performance 
underway arose. As if in a dream, Weston made his en- 
trance. He met Eleanor at their spot and together they 
danced. They danced with the company and then 
melted into their duet. It was so perfect, so right. The 
pair danced as one, and kept the audience breathless 
and alert. Eleanor began her solo as Weston held his 
pose. She radiated as she swept along with the sorcery 
of the moment. As Weston watched her, he caught his 
father's face in the audience. Weston saw the pleasure 
and approval for Eleanor that gleamed in Father's face. 
It would be there for him as well, Weston believed. His 
solo began, building up, up, up. He wanted with a want 
so deep and crystal clear. He felt strength and power in 
his dancing, in his mastery over the audience. In a mo- 
ment, after his sequence of climactic spins, Eleanor 
would perform the dramatic leap into his hold that 
would bring the audience to its feet. It was a very dif- 
ficult exchange in mid-air, and now Weston needed to 
create the proper concentration to be able to time the 
moment. The music began to mount furiously; Weston 
began to match its intensity with his spins. He com- 
pleted the final turn, and prepared for Eleanor's en- 
trance. Then, in an instant, he spied his Father again. 
But this time, he was walking from the auditorium with 
a look of sheer disgust and shame on his face — for his 
son. Weston felt numb, cold. Vaguely he saw that 
Eleanor was beginning her motions for the leap. He felt 
hollow, empty, and forsaken. His father despised him, 
and Weston felt betrayed. Father had left the perform- 
ance. The injustice of the situation consumed Weston. 
He was doing his motions of the ballet out of blind 
mechanical habit, and he was strangely aware of 
Eleanor flying through the air. With a jerk, he focused 
on her. She was loved and admired by Father, who 
preferred her dancing to Weston's. In a moment of emo- 



tion, rivalry poured into his veins. In front of him 
flashed the thought of how she had always been given 
support — by himself, by Father . . . the audience now. 
As he began to reach out for Eleanor in the catch, he 
swiftly realized with crystal clarity what he would do. 
He did not think, only reacted. He placed his arms by 
his sides, and then waited, watched, and listened. He 
viewed, as if from the woods again, Eleanor, and she 
was falling, falling, falling. He heard in the distance the 
shocked gasps of the audience, and the dry thud of 
Eleanor hitting the ground and remained still. He 
turned his head slowly as the stag had done. He was 
regal and beautiful — he was the stag. Sounds of ap- 
plause broke into his thoughts and brought him to reali- 
ty. He saw Eleanor on the ground, and in a fit of com- 
prehension he saw his betrayal of her. Horrified, he 
realized he had hurt her, and he looked deep inside of 
himself and saw the envy there and was repulsed. He 
did not hear the bravos from the audience, but ran from 
the stage in shame and mortification. He ran from the 
Conservatory. He ran to be free like the beast had 
done — he ran to escape. He ran like the stag. He sprang 
from the building and to the smooth marble steps that 
had been hope for him in the past. He sprang in fear as 
the stag had done. Weston fell, plunging, as if in slow 
motion, down the cavalcade of white steps, and felt 
himself tumbling, tumbling, tumbling down. He saw the 
white of the steps all around him, and they began to 
darken. The bright gleam of the stairs in the moonlight 
began to blacken, as his heart had done — as his soul 
had done. The wind rushed in his ears, he felt as if he 
was floating. The darkness crept into his mind, and as 
it got deeper it seemed that he was staring at the black 
stripe down the back of his stag. He got closer, the 
stripe enlarged. It grew, it engulfed, it consumed him 
totally. 

Sarah C. Rice 

First Place, Prose 

Muse Contest 




Cabala 

Veil layered over veil 
And we draw them aside, 
Believing we have penetrated to 
That innermost perserve, 
Yet we are uncertain 
Whether we have reached 
And encountered 
The all or 
Nothing 
at all. 

Mary Grady Koonce 

First Place, Poetry 

Muse Contest 



Catherine Davis 



ft 







Liz Wills 







V 



Frozen Scar 

Snow flurries thrashing down, wind yelling in our ears 

But no, the sun shone, the gentle breeze, 

Death waters, arms reaching, a hand grasping, 

His scarf still hugging my trembling shoulders, 

Quiet, a lonely pair of skates, 

Breath frozen forever more. 

Give me back the icicles of his beard. 

Kathryn MacDonald 



For A Freshman English Class Reading Whitman 

You enter and sit 

As always 

Waiting to be fed ideas 

You will never consider 

Understand 

This once 

We are not mutual antagonists 

Just once 

Hear what I say 

It affects us 

Both 

Since we share more than you can suppose 

We reach through time 

And our souls mesh 

Everything that has gone 

Before 

Becomes a part 

Of us 

The bloodiest crimson of each October maple 

Fuses into our beings 

And lights an eternal flame 

Of recognition 

That transcends lifetimes 

Our children 

And theirs 

Know us 

As we know 

Those 

Who preceded us 

By centuries 



I can never put you aside 

For you are part 

Of me 

As we are part 

Of all 

We experience 

Yes 

We understand 

The promise 

Is fulfilled 

We give of ourselves 

Gleefully 

Toward a larger 

Soul 

Our silent communion 
Is complete 
Our understanding 
Is infinite 

No 

Jamie 

Crazy Walt will not be on the exam 

I'm sorry 

I've kept you 

Four minutes 

Late 



Karen Rose 



Tom's Swans 



on the lake's cup Tom's swans float 

on the shape of perfection, 

remaining after the car rounds the curve 

and elemental bonewhite flashes 

in the eye's flank. Like a wish arcing 

or Blindman's Fog, it takes one's breath away 

to confront much virtue suddenly, and have 

it slide out of easy sight. As carelessly 

as a Ford leans into a road or iris 

in a parched summer bow to ponder drought, 

Tom's swans round the prayers 

of the brimming roadside, beyond our ken, 

as we pass on. 

Anna Woolen 



Raising Children 

As early as the nursery 

hearts palpitate, bump 

their white blankets, 

so many hearts laid out like fists. 

Everywhere you step is ego ego ego 

like tripping through a minefield. 

You must be a wizard to know 

where not to walk. 

You must be a genius and 

nurse genius not to trip 

upon those hearts 

whose chambers are cabal. 

Whichever way you step 

will never be right. 

No one will ever ask what way 

you meant to step, 

or if this is the way to be born. 



Anna Wooten 



Ridgeway 
Place, Art 
Contest 

// 





The Star 

Leaving the old woman's house the carolers 
trudged happily through the snow, carrying in the 
pockets of their torn coats her last three dollar bills 
and a precious book of matches. They were warmed in 
body and cheered in soul, for the old woman had taken 
them into her home, hung their cold, wet socks in front 
of her fire to dry, and fed them the best meal they had 
seen in months . . . thick slices of turkey smothered in 
dark, rich gravy, lots of deep red cranberry sauce, 
plump green peas, and mounds of steaming sweet 
potatoes laced with nuts and raisins, but best of all 
were the desserts . . . mountains of cookies sprinkled 
with brightly-colored sugars, a huge, downy coconut 
cake, and a tremendous tray of assorted candies. 

As she closed the door and pulled the threadbare 
shawl closer about her bony shoulders, a loving smile 
lit up her wrinkled face at the memory of the three 



starving children ravenously devouring most of the 
food the church had given her for Christmas. 

The bent old woman crossed the dimly-lit room to 
the tall cupboard. As she stood on tiptoe to pull down 
the worn hatbox, a childlike sparkle appeared in her 
eyes. Her shoulders seemed to straighten a little as if a 
heavy burden had just been lifted from them. She gent- 
ly placed the battered box on the floor beside a tiny 
tree that was resting in the corner. Opening the box 
carefully, she gazed at its contents with rapture. She 
lovingly fingered each ornament as if it were made of 
spun glass, instead of paper, wood, pine cones, and 
rocks. Then she withdrew a small pile of tiny candle 
stubs which were obviously going up for their last year. 

A wistful smile passed from her lips to her tired 
eyes as she lifted from the box the one extravagance 
she had allowed herself to keep after her husband's 
death. Ever so gently, she pulled the tissue paper away 



to reveal a glittering star. She tenderly placed it at the 
top of the tree, and as she did so, its shimmering lights 
were reflected in a single tear coursing down the lines 
in the old woman's cheek. Her husband had chopped 
wood for three weeks to pay for the star and had given 
it to her on their first Christmas together. The star had 
become a symbol of the love they had shared for three 
short years before his sudden death. 

Her decorating finished, she began slowly to 
prepare for bed. Fatigue and age bent the old woman 
as she unpinned and then brushed her sparse waist- 
length gray hair. She carefully hung up her faded dress 
and climbed wearily into bed. 

As she was falling asleep, a sharp rap at the front 
window jolted her wide awake. Rising fearfully from 
her bed, she pulled the worn shawl about her and went 
to the door. She opened the door to find a small, shiver- 
ing girl. She brought the coatless child in and tried to 
wrap her in a blanket. Shrugging it off, the girl whirled 
around to face the old woman. Tears now streamed 
down the small, anxious face. 

"Please, please, help me!" she sobbed. "My mother 
just had a baby, and I can't wake her up, and the baby 



just keeps crying and crying. Please, can you help me?" 

Assuring her she would, the old woman left the 
weeping child by the fire to get warm and returned to 
her bedroom to dress. After she was dressed, she quick- 
ly gathered up the remainder of her Christmas dinner 
and placed it in a basket. Over this she placed a hot 
water bottle and two thin blankets, the best she had to 
offer. Although she had no other wrap, she placed her 
old shawl around the thin girl's heaving shoulders and 
headed for the door. Then, as an afterthought, she 
thrust the basket into the scared child's arms and 
returned to fetch the tiny Christmas tree. 

"Maybe this will cheer up your mother and the 
baby," she said, closing the door after them. "A baby is 
a wonderful gift and should be welcomed into the world 
in a very special way." 

Arm in arm, the old woman and the little girl plod- 
ded in the deep snow for miles with the wind blowing 
them about and the sleet lashing their faces. Just when 
the old woman felt she could not take another step, the 
little girl shouted, "We're here!" and much to the old 
woman's relief, they turned up the walkway of a 
broken-down cottage. 



Tears sprang to the old woman's eyes as they 
entered the house and she saw the utter desolation of 
the cold, frightened little family. The young mother lay 
semi-conscious on the floor with nothing to cover her 
but a frayed blanket. In her arms lay the bawling baby. 
The wind knifed through the broken window panes, and 
snow was beginning to pile up on the sills. Four small 
children huddled in the corner trying to keep warm. No 
wood for the fireplace or stove was in sight. 

The old woman sent the children to search for dry 
sticks, while she struck out to find straw to make a bed 
for the mother and her child. She remembered an old 
barn a mile or so down the road and retraced her steps 
there in hopes of finding enough straw for her needs. 

She finally reached the barn and was elated to find 
several small piles of musty hay. Casting about for 
something to carry it in, she finally came upon a moldy 
piece of burlap. Gathering as much as she could possi- 
bly carry, she tied it up in the burlap and dragged it 
through the snow back to the little house. 

Stumbling through the door, she pushed the hay 
over to the place where the mother and child lay and 
quickly made a bed for them. She then covered them up 
with the blankets she had brought and placed the hot 
water bottle on the baby's chest. 

By this time the children had returned with their 
cache of sticks. She helped them kindle a fire in the 
stove and another one in the fireplace. Half-frozen, she 
warmed herself by the small fire and then began to 
prepare some food for the starving family. 

After the mother was warm and nourished, the old 
woman could see that her mind was gradually clearing. 
Though the mother was still too groggy to speak plain 
ly, her eyes blazed with love and appreciation. Satisfied 
that the mother was better and the children were 
warm and fed, the old woman slipped quietly out, leav- 



ing behind her food, her blankets, her shawl, and her 
beloved little tree. 

After what seemed hours, she finally reached her 
own home and climbed wearily into bed. For a long 
time she lay awake mourning her star and the things it 
stood for. Finally, satisfied that her husband would 
have wanted the destitute family to have it, she fell 
asleep. 

Through the night and the following day, the 
mother and her child continued to improve. As the last 
rays of sunshine filtered through the window, she felt 
she had the strength to get up. 

As she was struggling to her feet, a light from 
across the room nearly blinded her. For several 
minutes it shone so brightly that she could hardly open 
her eyes. When it finally dimmed, she thought it 
seemed to have radiated from the star on the old 
woman's tree. 

The sight of the tree brought rushing back to her 
the horrors and blessings of the night before. Although 
it was almost dark, she hurriedly sent the little girl to 
the old woman's house to invite her to come share the 
meager Christmas dinner that was rightfully hers. 

When the old woman did not answer the little 
girl's first knock, the child became frightened and rap- 
ped a little louder. When the old woman still did not 
answer, the little girl pushed the door open and walked 
in. She found the whole house dark and the fire burned 
down. Deciding that the old woman must be resting, 
she tiptoed back to the bedroom. 

In the bedroom, she found the old woman lying mo- 
tionless on the bed, a tender smile on her lifeless lips. 
Through the window over the head of the bed, a blazing 
star threw its light on the old woman's face. 

Jean Schaefer 
Second Place, Prose 
Muse Contest 




Ball Henderson 



Day Dreamer 

Listen to the sound of your mind 
Ocean waves and seashore winds 
Comforting solace in your head 
Oblivious to us outside 

Change the scene at fantasy's whim 
Places you would rather be 
Feelings only felt within 
Grasping all yet grasping none 
Only in the windows of your eyes 
Can we guess at what's inside 
Glassy, oscillating balls 
tell us nothing, tell us all 

Ashley Dimmette 



Lonesome Walls 

The wind 

mournfully blew gray curtains 

of sand 

over the weather-beaten boards 

of the lonely house. 

Another bleak winter had passed, 

had left the house 

alone and empty. 

Another spring, 

the curious people would leave 

as suddenly as they had come. 

Why did they leave? 

The forlorn house knew, 

but wished to forget 

the haunting reasons for being 

unwanted for so long. 

Elizabeth Jane Archer 




n 



Autumn's Child 



I am autumn's child, 
Gusts of purpose urging 
Me along like a leaf being 
Blown from a branch. 
I am autumn's child, 
Pencil gray loneliness 
Casting shadows over the 
Warmth of sunshine. 
I am autumn's child, 
Winter offers no comfort — 
Only a mocking challenge, 
A challenge not taken lightly. 
For I belong to Autumn, 
And I am autumn's child. 

Jocelyn Davis 



Gigi Taylor 



Hurt 

Hurt is like a hot coal 
That will never die. 

Burning fiercely so long, 
Then smoldering down 
Into a dull ache. 



Ellen McCown 



Contributors 

Susan Adams 
Karen Apostolou 
Elizabeth Jane Archer 
Janet Berkeley 
Caroline Brown 
Becka Caldwell 
Laura Culburtson 
Catherine Davis 
Jocelyn Davis 
Ashley Dimmette 
Mary Dixon 
Ball Henderson 
Mary Jacque Holroyd 
Mary Grady Koonce 
Penney Lide 
Kathryn MaeDonald 
Ashlyn Martin 
Ellen McCown 
Robin Naiswald 
Florence Norris 
Margaret Norris 
Kathy Packer 
Anne Perry 
Sarah Rice 
Julia Ridgeway 
Karen Rose (faculty) 
Mindy Russell 
Sally Ryon 
Jean Schaefer 
Emily Shapard 
Anna Tate 
Gigi Taylor 
B. Wick 
Liz Wills 
Anna Wooten (faculty) 



Cover design by Susan Adams 




Staff 

Karen Apostolou, editor 
Jocelyn Davis 
Stephanie Gardner 
Mary Grady Koonce 
Ashlyn Martin 
Robin Naiswald 
Margaret Norris 
Kathy Packer 
Sarah Rice 
Jean Schaefer 
Jan Stoughton 
Anna Wooten-Hawkins, 
faculty advisor 



Judges 

Art — Linda Fitz-Simons 
Photography — Sam Bass 
Poetry & Prose — Suzanne Britt Jordan 
Michael Matros 




1981-82 




The 1982 Muse is dedicated to Dr. Marcia C. Jones in honor of her services as 

former Advisor to the Muse and as present Dean of Students. This year the 

Muse staff recognizes her commitment to St. Mary's and its students. 




Carv Hardin 



Hope Chest 

Aged cedar clinging to hold together the past. . . 
Filled with Teddy Bear buttons, 
musical sea shells, 

and keys to doors I never saw. 
Postcards with pretty pictures, 

lace from my dress, my favorite dress, 
and hope, hope filled every corner 
And the aged cedar allowed none to seep out . . . 

Angel Archer 

First Place, Poetry 

Muse Contest 




Star 

Oh tiny diamond far away, 

Oh star in evening's sky, 

How small your worlds they seem to me. 

To them, how small am I? 

As sun, oh star, to other earths 
How brightly you must shine. 
And as they look at other stars 
Do they notice mine? 

How strange to think of my own sun 
As just a speck of light, 
Unnoticed in the darkened sky 
Of someone else's night. 

Rebecca Rogers 




Catherine Williamson 
First Place, Photography 
Muse Contest 



Holroyd 




Comforts 

Freedom is like a fortress . . . 
we seek her security 
yet we attempt 

to flee her walls. 

Brady Whitley 




Mary -Jacque Holroyd 



Snow 

Everything turned white outside 
like an innocent child. 

Everything turned white outside 
like the pure Virgin Mary. 

Everything turned white outside 
like a lamb. 

And I am praying to be white and pure, 
looking at the white world. 

Ho Sook Yu 




Catherine Williamson 



Jewel 

In the snow, a lake, 

A sapphire on white velvet, 

Winter's own jewel 

Susan Brown 



Cary Hardin 




A Dream 

Who is a dream really true to? 
Only to its holder. 
He cannot feel or touch it. 
Yet he feels it touch his heart. 

Cynthia Rouse 




Cary Hardin 



Coming Home 

The airplane's engines buzz loudly in my ears. 

The stewardess announces, "We will be landing in 
Houston soon. Please fasten your seatbelts and place all 
seats in upright position." 

Looking out the window, I recognize the city at 
once — Houston, Texas. I remember the first time I ar- 
rived at this airport. I was only eight years old. My 
mother had died and I was coming to live with my 
father and step-mother. I felt so scared and alone in the 
huge airport. A nice stewardess who had been on the 
plane with me waited with me at the gate. 

"How old are you Sarah?" she asked. 

"Eight," I said as I watched the people in the air- 
port. I wondered where all the people were going. I 
saw my father. She was with him. I never understood 
why he married her. She had been so different from my 
mother. 

The airplane hits the runway with a thud. It is 
very bright outside. I'm sure it is hot and humid as 
well. Being born in Georgia, I cannot get used to Texas 
weather, landscape, and people. This is one of the 
reasons I moved back to Atlanta for college and have 
been living there since. Leaving the plane I 
remembered what Laura, my step-mother, had said 
when she called yesterday. She had said that father had 
had a heart attack and the doctors felt he had a good 
chance to live. But Laura felt I should come right away. 
I had not seen him in about eight years. Suzanne would 
probably be there — my half-sister who never could stay 
out of trouble. I remember the night she was born. It 



was nearly nine o'clock on a rainy Sunday night. My 
father was in his study working on one of his cases. He 
was a dedicated lawyer. I only wish he had been more 
dedicated as a father. Laura was in her room. She had 
not been feeling well and she had gone to bed early. I 
had been playing in my room. I liked my new room. It 
had pink-flowered wallpaper. In my old room when I 
lived with my mother the walls were just white. But 
this room had a canopy bed. The canopy and bedspread 
matched the draperies which were green, matching the 
green stems of the flowers in the wallpaper. Daddy said 
my baby brother or sister would come soon. I wondered 
if it would be a boy or a girl. I wanted it to be a girl 
because my friends said that little brothers could be 
pests, breaking your dolls and messing up your room. 

I heard talking in the hall. I walked over to the 
door. I opened it, peeking out. Daddy and Laura were 
standing in the hall. He had her blue suitcase that she 
bought for her trip to London last summer. Seeing me 
standing in the doorway, he said, "Laura is going to the 
hospital, Sarah. It is time for the baby to come." 

"Can I come?" I asked. 

"No, you must stay here with Martha." 

Martha was our housekeeper. She also took care of 
me. She was very kind. She was heavy, with gray hair 
pulled back, away from her face. We waited up very 
late until the phone rang and my father said, "It's a 
girl!" 

"Taxi," I called loudly. A bright yellow cab pulled 
up. The cab driver loaded my luggage in the trunk and 



we were off. It would be about a forty-five minute drive 
to the house, which probably hadn't changed much. It 
would still be a big white colonial with a circular 
driveway. When I was twelve we had a big party on 
the back patio. I remember the smell of the barbecue in 
the air. It was a bright Saturday in April. A warm 
breeze was blowing. I was wearing a blue and white 
sailor sun dress with white sandals. Laura was playing 
the gracious hostess. My step-mother and I seemed to 
be getting along better. Suzanne, my sister, was now 
three. Laura had told everyone that Martha would 
bring Suzanne out after she woke up from her nap. My 
father was conversing with some of his business 
friends. 

"Sarah," I heard someone say. 

I turned around. It was my Aunt Margaret. She 
was my father's younger sister. She was married but 
she didn't have any children. She looked very nice. She 
was wearing a blue-green silk blouse with white pants. 
Her thick blond hair was pulled back with combs. 

"Sarah," she repeated, "My, don't you look pretty 
today." 

"Thank you," I said smiling. "Are you enjoying the 
party, Aunt Margaret?" I asked. 

"Oh, yes," she replied, "I just love these outdoor 
get-togethers. The weather is just perfect for it too." 

"Laura said that you and Uncle Frank might move 
to Dallas," I said unhappily. 



"Well, I doubt very much that we'll leave Houston. 
As you know I was born and raised here. Houston is 
my home." 

"The traffic is really bad today," the cab driver 
said, jolting me back to the present. I didn't reply. The 
traffic was bad and this heat unbearably hot. I looked 
at my watch. It was almost four o'clock. I would soon 
be at the house. 

"Suppose to rain tomorrow. Maybe it'll cool this 
place down," the cab driver said. 

"Perhaps," I replied staring out the window at 
rows of cars. 

"Are ya here on vacation?" the driver asked. 

"My family lives here. I used to live here before I 
went to college." 

My mind returned to the time before I left Texas. 
My father and I had not gotten along during my last 
years in high school. We were constantly arguing about 
little things mostly. I felt I had to get away. Maybe in 
some way, in some silly way, I blamed him for my 
mother's death. After he left and they got divorced she 
died. All these years I blamed him but . . . but it wasn't 
his fault. Perhaps he sensed my hostility. 

"We're here miss. Hey, are you okay?" the cab 
driver asked. Looking up at the house, the house where 
I grew up, tears appeared in my eyes and I said, "I'm 
home — I've come home." 

Tracy Young 



Lavender 



Awakening lull of the lark 
and lackadaisical lip-lapping sea, 
Persuade graceful ladylove 
To lift the veil of dawn. 

Dress in lace, 

Bend and breathe a lilac calm, 

Amethyst mist and velvet. 



Jennifer Twiggs 

Second Place, Poetry 

Muse Contest 




Cary Hardin 



§i Mary's College Library 
Rileigh, N. C. 




Ally son Rowland 
Second Place, Art 
Muse Contest 



You Should Have Called 

Okay- 

Now I'm really mad! 

You could have called but you didn't! 

I'm not that hard to talk to, 
not that hard to reach . . . 
I get mad when I start to 

feel this way. 
I hate dependency! 
I shouldn't let you get me in a place 

where I begin 

to doubt myself. 
Damn it! 
You should have called 

but I shouldn't have waited. 




Cary Hardin 



Brady Whitley 




Pip Johnson 



Stream-hug 

The stream opens her arms and 

hugs all within reach 

She touches the banks with wet 

fingers 

First stretching then reclining 

As if she longs for just one 

moment to stop her ageless 

running . . . and lie still. 

Beth Roberts 

Third Place, Poetry 

Muse Contest 



What Augustine Did With Sunlight 

He turned it a particle at a time 

(amoebas of light beneath the fingernails), 

the whole growing sphere into a vine, 

each spine of light a star, 

each star a woman, 

each woman a huge wonderful bulb 

of walking sun. 

To turn and watch an action building rings 

must be to listen to the water of a deed 

washing other deeds, the whole 

spectacular plant swaying on a stem 

slight as breathing. 



Anna Wooten-Hawkins 




Ashley Campbell 
First Place, Art 
Muse Contest 



When The Moon Seems Somehow Brighter 

The moon seems somehow brighter when hung in summer skies 
As a Pennsylvania evening closes tight her sleepy eyes. 
The peace I feel here speaks to me of life, love, and friends, 
And I find that I am wishing that this time would never end. 

I sadly think of leaving, the moon fills my eyes, 

I fix my gaze above into starry summer skies. 

There's an aching filled inside me made of sadness, love, and pain 

I know the Magic Something another heart has claimed. 

Angel Archer 




Pip Johnson 



The Life Of Leaves 



*f 



Mary-Jacque Holroyd 



the leaves begin to turn 

from spring green, to autumn brown and rust — 

one by one. 

they rumble to the ground 

falling peacefully, 

they form a circle of warmth, 

a soft breeze picks up a 

few strays, carrying them to a foreign home — 

they fly gracefully, 

melodically like the lyrics of a song, 

float one by one out of sight — 

only a few remain 

huddled like frightened 

children searching for love. 

Amy Chandler 



Kathryn MacDonald 
Third Place, Art 
Muse Contest 




7 7 7 7 



Y fflWHH fflftCVMIfllP 






Virgins 

Pecans fall from the trees here. They litter the 
amazingly thriving grass along with rotting acorns and 
just-browning leaves. Squirrels live in these trees. 
Birds nest in them, outnumbering the hornets. Crickets 
call to each other during the night. These things go 
through their life cycles without thinking. Ignoring us. 

I live here with them, but I live away from them. I 
live in a private school in which most everyone has nice 
clothes and an unstrained checkbook. Their parents 
have sent them to Europe at least once because it's a 
pilgrimage everyone who has money has to make. It's 
something to talk about when they come back to school 
in the fall. 

They're wealthy and I'm poor. Yet I feel sorry for 
them as I feel sorry for everything stagnant and un- 
changing. Life will apparently go only in one direction 
for 470 of the 500 of us — in the direction of monetary 
comfort. Unless of course bankruptcy rears its ugly 
head, in which case chaos and emotional instability will 
strike. But that's not likely to happen. Not before the 
Second Coming anyway. 

Once, a long time ago I wanted what they have. I 
don't want it anymore. I don't want to spend money 
because I'm bored. I don't want to write checks left and 
right and laugh hysterically because I'm overdrawn at 
the bank. I don't want to be useless because I get 
everything that I want. 

I live with useless people — useless would-be 



women. Girls who don't have the slightest inkling of 
how to use an iron or how to wash a cotton blouse. 
They make me angry most of the time. Offend me in 
the most intimate ways by giving their arrogance and 
conceit precedence over courtesy. 

I withdraw into my silence, afraid to open my 
mouth lest I say something they may regret. Holding 
my tongue is perhaps the hardest part of being here. 
Outwardly taking their bullshit while burning internal- 
ly. Remaining abject takes all my strength sometimes, 
but it keeps me sane. 

The alarm went off an hour ago. I've slept through 
the deafening buzz and an eight o'clock class. I sit up 
straight in bed, pretending to be awake. My roommate 
is curled up in her bed, her eyes squinted shut. Yester- 
day's make-up is smeared on her pillow. Her hair is in 
tangles. I can tell by the expression on her face that 
her dreams are self-indulgent. I begin to dress very 
quickly. I hate her most in the morning. 

I put on the dirty jeans I wore Tuesday and the 
sweater I bought in Hyannis. My roommate yawns and 
I leave the room before she can open her eyes or utter 
a greeting. 

The bathroom floor is wet and slimy to the touch 
of my barefeet. A cockroach crawls up the wall as I 
place my bath towel on the metal rack. The girl stan- 
ding next to me says, "Oh, gross" — and continues to 
spit toothpaste into the sink. I turn on the hot water 
that only runs cold. The roach disappears behind the 



mirror into which I am staring. I look like death warm- 
ed over before and after I wash my face, but there's no 
one here I want to impress. 

The girl standing next to me releases her last 
string of blue spit into the basin and wipes her mouth 
with the back of her hand. "Are you going to 
breakfast?" she asks me. "No," I mutter inaudibly, 
never taking my eyes off the goo in the sink. I feel sick. 

My roommate has her face thrust into her two 
thousand watt make-up mirror, her lips drawn into a 
permanent pout. Her ears have been pierced seven 
times to conform with "punk". Each day she looks more 
conspicuous. She exudes foolishness. 

She looks at me out of the corner of her eye. She 
sees that I see and continues to disguise her natural 
features. She is a very pretty girl yet she is preten- 
tious and conforms to unwritten rules. We turn our 
eyes away simultaneously. We hate each other most in 
the morning. 

The Italian looking girl who sits in front of me 
English is playing with her wet hair. Twisting and pull- 
ing it so that it looks painful. My eyes never leave the 
back of her head. There are fifteen of us in the 
classroom, each looking in a different direction. The 
teacher, someone else's back, the blackboard, the win- 
dow, the ceiling. 

I'm looking at Allison's wet uncomfortable hair; my 
eyes are glued to it but my mind is miles away. 
Somewhere in Massachusetts. Cape Cod to be precise. 



It is just beginning to turn nice there. After Labor Day 
the tourists leave and peace returns. I'm sure the 
temperature has not risen above forty-five degrees in 
several weeks. I love cold weather and I'd love to sit on 
the deserted beach in Dennis, wrapped in wool, watch- 
ing the frigid waves roll up to the shore. I went to the 
beach last December when the snow covered the sand 
like a carpet and the waves were frozen in suspended 
animation. I miss Massachusetts. 

A fly buzzes in my ear. I jump at the sensation, on 
the verge of making a queer noise, but then I 
remember where I am. 

I bring myself back to the apathetic classroom, 
away from Allison's hair. I search the walls for a clock 
but there is none. Counting minutes only makes the 
time go slower. 

I finger dirty Kleenexes in my pocket. I've caught 
a cold because my roommate insists on sleeping with 
the windows open. The temperature here is almost 
lunar. Searing heat in the daytime and near freezing at 
night. I'm naturally cold-blooded and can't adjust. 

The teacher is dictating vocabulary words. The 
lethargy has lifted around me as I watch the others 
scribbling desperately to keep up. I stare at the blank 
sheet of paper in front of me. I know I'm behind and 
will never catch up. And I don't care. 

Laurie Garlington 

First Place, Prose 

Muse Contest 




Foo Vaeth 



Buildings . . . 1868-1981 

As symbols of better times 

The buildings still stand, 

Vacant, grey, sacred, cold. 

People come to pay homage 

Looking for smiling, familiar faces 

But finding none there. 

Echoes of yesterday, walking gravel paths. 

Laughing, roommates play in the field 

While leaves flirtatiously swirl away 

On winds carrying shadows of the past. 

Kiki Glendening 

Honorable Mention, Poetry 

Muse Contest 



Cary Hardin 




Just A Glance 

Walking into the path the nameless stranger stole it 
He didn't know the value 

didn't realize the crime 
With just a polite hello he captured it 

smothered it without a pillow 

stabbed it without a knife 
Drowning the victim's deepening dreams he freely fled 
His image replacing the stolen possession. 

Kathryn Mac Donald 




Remember Me 

Inside the green eyes grows chaos. 

Watch me, feel me. 

There is no love lost. 

My friends no longer wait for me. 

I caught my tears, squeezed them dry. 
The stars took my hand at noon; 
I saw the future fade with blueness in 
the sky. 

Now see my body, feel it. 
Wait for the warmth to return. 
For even death can't steal it. 

Open my eyes, tear away the green. 
Take from me my shroud of sadness. 
Cleanse me with a kiss. 

Although I leave you, you must catch me 

in your eyes. 

Look for me where you do not expect to see me. 

I am there even in your doubting. 

Yet worlds away, I am asleep. 

Laurie Garlington 




Kathryn MacDonald 




-JACQ-^Y 



Mary-Jacque Holroyd 



Julia 

Silent strangers 
took time 
to look, 
and listen . . . 

But they never reached 

far enough, 
For the chilling wind 

whispered her laughter 
in the distance. 

The strangers, 

forever silent, 

never really listened . . . 
They could have 

never understood 
her laughter. 

Brady Whitley 




m^a^ 



Kathryn MacDonald 



Beginnings and Endings 

The cooling wind lifts 

And blows across my dozing body. 

I am in another place 

Where the lifts of the cooling wind are familiar. 

I am there for a minute, 

In the dusk that fades 

Everything to dark. 

But the minute has passed 

And I get up to see 

Myself and the tall blinds reflected in the mirror. 

I remember watching the circle out front, 

The cars coming in 

And the ones leaving — 

People coming and going. 

Each inch of the ride being different from the last, 

As in life 

The people in their cars being alone 

Or with someone else. 

As in life, where we ride alone sometimes 

But know that at another time 

There will be someone else to share the ride. 

We all made a new beginning 

When we rode into that circle for the first time. 

We all made a new beginning 



When we rode into our circle of life. 

Birth is the beginning, 

Death is the end. 

But there is the circle which 

Has no beginning, 

Has no end. 

I do not understand, 

No one truly understands life. 

When we invent, 

Think, 

And breathe, 

We start at the beginning 

As we do when 

We enter the circle out front. 

We start at the beginning. 

Simply because we cannot conceive 

That there is always something before. 

We stop at the end 

Simply because we cannot conceive 

That there is always something beyond. 

It is not a simple thing. 
We cannot understand it. 
Yet we live it. . . . 



Skirley Fawcett 




Memorium 
A single rose 
Remains in a vase 
Its hue long faded 
Like the definition 
Of your face 
Which softens with time 
Until season's warmth 
Rejuvenates 
What winter won't allow. 



Jocelyn Davis 

Honorable Mention, Poetry 

Muse Contest 



Cover design by 
Pip Johnson 



Contributors 

Angel Archer 
Susan Brown 
Ashley Campbell 
Amy Chandler 
Jocelyn Davis 
Shirley Fawcett 
Laurie Garlington 
Kiki Glendening 
Cary Hardin 
Mary-Jacque Holroyd 
Pip Johnson 
Kathryn MacDonald 
Beth Roberts 
Rebecca Rogers 
Cynthia Rouse 
Allyson Rowland 
Jennifer Twiggs 
Foo Vaeth 
Brady Whitley 
Catherine Williamson 
Anna Wooten-Hawkins 
Tracy Young 
Ho Sook Yu 




Staff 

Ashlyn Martin, Editor 
Angel Archer 
Cary Hardin 
Amy Hurka 
Kathryn MacDonald 
Melissa Webb 
Ann Whitaker 
Brady Whitley 
Anna Wooten-Hawkins, 
Faculty Advisor 

Judges 

Art -Sally Rector 

Photography — Jim Moore 

Poetry and Prose — Shirley Moody 



For Calliope, Terpsichore, Erato, 
and the goddesses of Memory . . . 



MUSE 1983 



Saint Mary's College 



Muse Editor 
Assistant Editor 
Editorial Staff 



Elizabeth Archer 

Brady Whitley 

Amy Hurka 
Jacqueline Morris 
Karen Mullican 
Laura Reiley 
Katherine Wilson 
Ann Whitaker 



Muse Consultants 



John Tate 
Ellen Anderson 



Muse Advisor 



Anna Wooten-Hawkins 



Muse Contest 

Art Judge 
Poetry Judge 
Prose Judge 



Conrad Wiser 
Betty Adcock 
Angela Davis-Gardner 



With special thanks to the Muse Week Writers: 

Betty Adcock 
Sally Buckner 
Angela Davis-Gardner 
Richard Kenney 
Steve Smith 
Julie Suk 



*Cover photograph by Florence Norris 



Printed by Commercial Printing Company 

1313 Fairview Road, Raleigh, North Carolina 27608 



THE ATTACK 

Brady Whitley 

Death winds 

roll in from the sea, 
tides rising. . . 

You land like Blackbeard's men — 
no one knew they were coming 
in the quiet, 
but you are known. 

Our lighthouse sees you — 
This stormy sea-blue darkness 

holds your shadow 

on the sky's blackening edge. 
The shoreline listens. 

We wait for you, Intruder, 

doors bolted, 

windows buckled, 

ears to the wind. 
And we expect your visit. . . 

no surprise 

in this attack — 

Your visit reminds us of 

Blackbeard's bloody night. 

The wind cries mercy, 
for tonight 

the water screams around us as 
honking ship horns 
die on the edge of the sky. 



First Place, Poetry 
Muse Contest 



A HINT OF JUNE 

Elizabeth Archer 

Discarded wrappings 

crinkle in the flames. 

Colored ashes glow silently. 

Mixed melodies carousel 
through the den. 

Balls of light, and drummers 
nestled in white snow, 

enter the darkness of oak. 

Stacked storybook tins 

jingle with emptiness. 

The scent of sugar 

lingers near the stove. 

But I 

can smell the sea oats. 



Third Place, Poetry 
Muse Contest 



THE STORM ZEUS BLEW 

by Brady Whitley 



A blanket of lightning unfolded across the dark sky 
a 1 spread out to distant stars. White strips split and shat- 
t :d into long ghostlike fingers, cold and wrinkly. The 
r id seemed to reach out of the clouds as if to steal Car- 
r "ton from her safe bed. 

It was raining again, really pouring now. The summer 
v id blew waves of rain through the screen coverings of 
I open windows. To Carrington, the rain was friendly; it 
I; ded softly. The thunder was angry, though. It began by 
s king the ground, then it shook the house, then her quiet 
r m began to shake. The thunder was angry like a raging 
n ri getting ready to strike out at someone. Carrington 
s ddered at the sound of it and slid deeper into the securi- 
ty if her linen coverings; the weight of them helped her feel 
si ;lded. 

The thunder sounded again, its booms ringing louder 
a i in more confusing number. With the next loud boom a 
si dow appeared in her door. Marc, barely three years old, 
h 1 a straggly blue blanket in one hand, and in the other, 
h, held a battered stuffed bear. 

"Carrie," whined Marc softly, "I'm scared." 

"Ssh. Climb in Marc. It's almost over. The wind's 
d tg down and the thunder sounds like it's moving away 
ft n us. Climb in with me and you can go back to sleep." 
I Marc stepped onto the cold bed frame, stretched his 
k e up to the top of the bed and pulled himself up with 
I covers. The two straightened their pajamas and then 
rt ranged the covers, flattening out wrinkles and rises in 
tl navy blue comforter. This comforter was Carrington's 
ft )rite; yellow and white daisies were thrown haphazardly 
o ) a deep royal backdrop. The daisies spread and landed 
iriverflowing heaps. To her, it was like being in a field of 
ft h country flowers. 

The rain continued to blow in through the screens, yet 
it ime with less force. Her pale yellow curtains danced 
oi ■ with the strongest winds. When the wet air whirled in, 
fr yellow curtains took on the shape of unknown fairies. 
T y were good fairies, the kind that spread happiness with 
sy, kling bits of moondust. She knew these fairies were 
g' i, because they took her to beautiful places. In dreams, 
tli led her through fields of endless daisies. 

"Carrington, breakfast is ready," called their mother 
ft i the bottom of the stairs. 

Carrington lifted herself to a sitting position. Pulling 
b; : the covers, she reached down to her feet and shook 
M c, who was curled up in a ball where the sheet ends 
w tucked in. She wondered how he ever breathed down 
th : in all those twisted covers. 

"Marc, breakfast is ready." 

( Marc gave a little nod with his curly head, sheets rising 
w:,pts shaking. He stretched his light blue flannel sleeves 



from his sleeping pocket and then crawled on his knees 
towards the bed's headboard where Carrington's oversized 
pillows rested against fingerprinted brass. Both of them slid 
off either side of her twin bed, landing with a slight bounce 
on the cool pine floor. In the middle of one of his widest 
yawns. Marc pulled his pajama bottoms up to keep them 
from dragging. He wore the ones their father had given 
him, and the grape juice stains down the front masked the 
faded baseball caps that marched from left to right across 
his chest. Carrington turned and led him down the stairs to 
the kitchen table where plates and silverware, reflecting the 
bright morning sun, hurt the children's puffy eyes. Marc 
climbed in his highchair so that he could reach the table 
better. It wasn't a baby's highchair. Marc wasn't a baby 
anymore. Carrington placed an extra pillow in her chair. 
She was taller, so she didn't need the highchair. 

"Here Carrington. Help yourself and then help Marc 
to some." Their mother offered a platter of hot, steaming 
bacon and eggs. Carrington set the platter down and 
reached to scoop a spoonful of eggs onto her plate. She got 
lots of bacon because she loved bacon. Then she scooped 
another spoonful of eggs and balanced them in the air over 
her brother's plate, where she slid them off in a glump. If 
Carrington could have had her way, she thought a bowl of 
cereal would have tasted much better ... the kind with 
little bits of colored marshmallow in it. 

"It rained again last night," came their mother's voice 
from the other side of the table. "I bet we'll have an extra 
green summer with all this new rain." 

Carrie thought about it. She pictured the farm. Her 
Dad lived there now. Three towering oak trees reigned over 
flat ground covered in endless wild grasses with little yellow 
and light-lavender flowers. The two-story farm house rested 
deep in the woods, just visible from certain spaces on the 
field's edge. That house was where their father lived now. 
Carrington had only been there once, but she remembered 
it well. She kept trying to concentrate on eating her eggs. 
She knew her mother would want her to finish every bite. 
But her Dad kept coming back to her, and she heard him 
yelling as he had the summer day he left, without return- 
ing. 

Carrie was glad her brother Marc was too young to 
remember that day. It started with a fight. Her mother 
crouched on the garage steps with her head resting on 
balled-up fists, and she cried late into the night. At first her 
mother cried softly. But then she seemed to cry with a 
shaking fear that pained Carrie to watch. 

"Mommy, why did he yell at you?" 

"He is angry with me, Carrie. We have trouble 
understanding each other." She broke off into another roll 
of weak sobs, dropping her puffy eyes back to her fists. 



"When is Dad coming back?" Carrington asked 
hesitantly. 

"Your Father and I love both of you. He loves you 
and I love you, but we don't love each other anymore. We 
have problems when we live together, just between us, and 
we can't seem to work them out. I don't think your Father 
will be coming home anymore." 

Carrington was afraid. She wanted to cry, but she bit 
her lip hard not to. When her eyes started watering, she bit 
twice as hard, but it wasn't working. To keep her mother 
from seeing her tears, she pretended to study her shoes. She 
wouldn't cry, she mustn't. She feared his absence like she 
feared the arrival of thunderstorms. They were almost the 
same to her. They brought the same emptiness to her 
stomach. Her father was gone. Carrington needed to think 
about it. She went to her room where she could think 
about her dad. He was gentleness for her, especially when 
she climbed up on the couch, right next to him, and 
watched him sing about the dragon, Puff, and their place 
by the sea. His deep voice whispered song after song, and 
she felt safe with him there. But now he was gone. She 
missed him already. She tried to imagine what it would be 
like without him there. She thought the house was lonely 
without him there. 

Struggling to get her blue-lacquered rocking chair mov- 
ing back and forth, Carrington leaned her body way out 
over the edge and then flung her weight back against the 
cushion. Her legs reached just half way to the floor, but 
she managed to get the rocker swaying. She felt settled and 
knew her mother wouldn't see her here, so she let herself 
cry. When she finished, she slid out of the rocker and 
walked over to her window. Past the front yard, she 
followed Ivey Lane as it twisted and curved up the hill con- 
necting all the neighborhood's houses. Of all the different 
styles, she liked hers best; it was like a castle to her. The 
white pillars on the front porch rose up two whole stories, 
but standing at their base, they seemed even taller. And the 
red brick sides spread over the lot with authority. 
Somehow, the house stood taller than the rest. 

The kids in the area liked her house best too; it was 
the only one with a tree house. This was important because 
the tree house was the most advantageous home territory 
during water fights and cowboy and Indian wars. Her 
house also had a creek that ran behind it. They waded in 
the creek on the hottest days and chased frogs up the hill 
after heavy rains. You could find gnomes there too because 
they liked to live near mossy rocks. Those were the same 
rocks the children buried treasure under in the fall. Yes, 
she loved her red brick castle, but she thought the castle 
would fall without its king . . . 

"Carrington. Finish your breakfast please. The way 
you run around this place like a wild Indian set loose you 
need to eat good meals." 

From the right side of the table Marc set his empty 
milk glass down with two-handed care. "I finished mine, 
Carrie," her brother beamed over to Carrie. Carrington 



nodded to let Marc know she was pleased. She thought tl 
white mustache circling his mouth looked silly, but si 
didn't say anything because she didn't want to make hi 
feel stupid. 

Later that night she kissed her brother goodnight; 
was something she always did, probably because she liki 
to help him say his prayers. 

One of her favorite pictures hung in a frame over 
bed. A print with black capital lettering in the middle w 
bordered by drawings of wild animals, some with red, gU 
ing eyes and some with long pointy teeth. But the poe 
was special: 



From Ghoulies 

And Ghosties 

Long Leggitie Beasties 
And things that 

Go Bump 
In the night, 
Good Lord Deliver Us. 






. . ."And God bless Daddy." 

"That's good, now climb on in and get yourself 
sleep. It's past your bedtime." 

"Night Carrie." 

"Night Marc." 

Marc came back to Carrington's room again til 
night. She didn't mind it, though. She knew why he v> 
afraid of thunderstorms. It was like being afraid of thin 
that go bump in the night. When the rumbles started, yi 
thought the monsters were charging at you, or draggj 
steel balls across the attic floor. And when the wind bh 
mist in through the screen coverings, you felt like : 
beasties had brushed long unshaven legs up against yij 
The lightning roared louder than wild demons and flasli 
shapeless shadows against the walls. Outside, the stoi 
combed tangles into the tossing willow's well-kept ma. 
The sky's blackness seeped to the far edges of the nig. 
Not even the moon peeked through that blackness. Wh 
both their noses pressed against the wet window screi, 
they watched flashes light up the sky. Then another flh 
outlined the trees. 

"It's the thunder," Marc noticed, "it's like an any 
man yelling." 

Carrington listened to her brother. She agreed vti 
him. The storm was her mother crying. It was her fata 
yelling. But Carrington was tired of remembering her fall 
this way. 

"Let's go out on the porch and see what it's lik" 
Marc turned to his sister, afraid of her suggestion, but t n 
chuckled to himself at the thought of actually going io 
the rain. 

From the porch, the wind seemed less dangerous in 
fact, it felt playful blowing across their cheeks and &\ 
swirling their hair into tiny circles. Carrington turid 
straight into the wind; she wanted the spray to tickle er 



I lashes. Rain fell in big, heavy drops, almost in bunches, 
g , I sounded like glass marbles bouncing on the kitchen 
for. Thunder surrounded them; the drums rolled slowly, 
I jinning with a low beat and ending with a steady boom. 
E ey stood there, side by side, facing the flashing sky. 

, Crack. Crack. Crack. Then they counted together, 
'(une thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand 
t ee, one thousand four, one thousand five . . .". Boom! 
i;y jumped a little with its weight. 

j "It's leaving. The thunders are farther apart," Car- 
r ;ton offered softly. 

L' "It wasn't that bad, huh?" 

"Not really. I used to think it would hurt us, or really, 
tilt it wanted to hurt us. But it's just a rainstorm, Marc." 



"Yeah, just a rainstorm," Marc added. 

Carrington looked out at the rain and realized that the 
storms would all be the same. One was never more fright- 
ening than the next. In fact, they almost had a pattern 
about them. She ran out into the naked darkness. Her fluf- 
fy pink nightgown, soaked with the falling rain, clung to 
her body with its wetness. It wasn't cold rain; it was warm, 
and it felt wonderful as it dripped from her hair down her 
neck and then down her back. She spread her arms out and 
opened her palms to catch the falling drops. Marc watched 
her from the steps. He decided to join her. 

Together in the yard, they stopped jumping when the 
thunder sounded. Their soaked night clothes clung like 
sticky noodles to their skin. But they didn't notice it. They 
just stood there, laughing. 



Brady Whitley 
First Place, Prose 

Muse Contest 




PEN AND INK DRAWING 

by Alex Kirk bride 



CLOCK OF PINK 

Elizabeth Archer 

Tea stained paper, bound with red yarn, clings to my night . . 
a pressed pink rose discolored with time, 
scented letters that no longer smell of lavender, 
a photograph of my staircase and me, 
the white velvet ribbon that highlighted my hair, 
A midnight reflection, embedded in the torn edges of time . . 

Only I keep the ticket to enter. 



THE DISASTER 



Jacquie Taylor 






The silence is loud, 

The darkness glares down deserted corridors 

Filled with motionless Christmas animation. 
Suddenly — 

A loud hollow echo, and the sound of 
scurrying, retreating footsteps. 

And it begins — 

slowly, slowly. 

Small and blue it dances up the wall, 

Joining a harmony of yellow tongues. 

It sweeps up the cotton snow, 

Singeing the hair of the little drummer boy, 

Bursting the shiny glass balls, 

Leaving only black remnants. 

Long after the firemen have gone, 
Smoke still curls from under fallen beams, 
Waving its victory to those who weep. 



THE STORM ZEUS BLEW 

by Brady Whitley 



A blanket of lightning unfolded across the dark sky 
i I spread out to distant stars. White strips split and shat- 
t sd into long ghostlike fingers, cold and wrinkly. The 
1 id seemed to reach out of the clouds as if to steal Car- 
r gton from her safe bed. 

It was raining again, really pouring now. The summer 
v id blew waves of rain through the screen coverings of 
t open windows. To Carrington, the rain was friendly; it 
1; ded softly. The thunder was angry, though. It began by 
s king the ground, then it shook the house, then her quiet 
r m began to shake. The thunder was angry like a raging 
I n getting ready to strike out at someone. Carrington 
s ddered at the sound of it and slid deeper into the securi- 
j )f her linen coverings; the weight of them helped her feel 
s :lded. 

The thunder sounded again, its booms ringing louder 
a j in more confusing number. With the next loud boom a 
s! dow appeared in her door. Marc, barely three years old, 
hi a straggly blue blanket in one hand, and in the other, 
h held a battered stuffed bear. 

"Carrie," whined Marc softly, "I'm scared." 

"Ssh. Climb in Marc. It's almost over. The wind's 
d ig down and the thunder sounds like it's moving away 
fin us. Climb in with me and you can go back to sleep." 

Marc stepped onto the cold bed frame, stretched his 
k e up to the top of the bed and pulled himself up with 
tl covers. The two straightened their pajamas and then 
n ranged the covers, flattening out wrinkles and rises in 
tl navy blue comforter. This comforter was Carrington's 
fe >rite; yellow and white daisies were thrown haphazardly 
01 ) a deep royal backdrop. The daisies spread and landed 
in [verflowing heaps. To her, it was like being in a field of 
fr h country flowers. 

The rain continued to blow in through the screens, yet 
it ime with less force. Her pale yellow curtains danced 
oi with the strongest winds. When the wet air whirled in, 
th yellow curtains took on the shape of unknown fairies. 
Ti f were good fairies, the kind that spread happiness with 
sp kling bits of moondust. She knew these fairies were 
gc 1, because they took her to beautiful places. In dreams, 
th led her through fields of endless daisies. 

"Carrington, breakfast is ready," called their mother 
fr i the bottom of the stairs. 

Carrington lifted herself to a sitting position. Pulling 
bs the covers, she reached down to her feet and shook 
Mi :, who was curled up in a ball where the sheet ends 
w tucked in. She wondered how he ever breathed down 
th ■ in all those twisted covers. 

"Marc, breakfast is ready." 

|Marc gave a little nod with his curly head, sheets rising 
wi r)ts shaking. He stretched his light blue flannel sleeves 



from his sleeping pocket and then crawled on his knees 
towards the bed's headboard where Carrington's oversized 
pillows rested against fingerprinted brass. Both of them slid 
off either side of her twin bed, landing with a slight bounce 
on the cool pine floor. In the middle of one of his widest 
yawns, Marc pulled his pajama bottoms up to keep them 
from dragging. He wore the ones their father had given 
him, and the grape juice stains down the front masked the 
faded baseball caps that marched from left to right across 
his chest. Carrington turned and led him down the stairs to 
the kitchen table where plates and silverware, reflecting the 
bright morning sun, hurt the children's puffy eyes. Marc 
climbed in his highchair so that he could reach the table 
better. It wasn't a baby's highchair. Marc wasn't a baby 
anymore. Carrington placed an extra pillow in her chair. 
She was taller, so she didn't need the highchair. 

"Here Carrington. Help yourself and then help Marc 
to some." Their mother offered a platter of hot, steaming 
bacon and eggs. Carrington set the platter down and 
reached to scoop a spoonful of eggs onto her plate. She got 
lots of bacon because she loved bacon. Then she scooped 
another spoonful of eggs and balanced them in the air over 
her brother's plate, where she slid them off in a glump. If 
Carrington could have had her way, she thought a bowl of 
cereal would have tasted much better . . . the kind with 
little bits of colored marshmallow in it. 

"It rained again last night," came their mother's voice 
from the other side of the table. "I bet we'll have an extra 
green summer with all this new rain." 

Carrie thought about it. She pictured the farm. Her 
Dad lived there now. Three towering oak trees reigned over 
flat ground covered in endless wild grasses with little yellow 
and light-lavender flowers. The two-story farm house rested 
deep in the woods, just visible from certain spaces on the 
field's edge. That house was where their father lived now. 
Carrington had only been there once, but she remembered 
it well. She kept trying to concentrate on eating her eggs. 
She knew her mother would want her to finish every bite. 
But her Dad kept coming back to her, and she heard him 
yelling as he had the summer day he left, without return- 
ing. 

Carrie was glad her brother Marc was too young to 
remember that day. It started with a fight. Her mother 
crouched on the garage steps with her head resting on 
balled-up fists, and she cried late into the night. At first her 
mother cried softly. But then she seemed to cry with a 
shaking fear that pained Carrie to watch. 

"Mommy, why did he yell at you?" 

"He is angry with me, Carrie. We have trouble 
understanding each other." She broke off into another roll 
of weak sobs, dropping her puffy eyes back to her fists. 



"When is Dad coming back?" Carrington asked 
hesitantly. 

"Your Father and I love both of you. He loves you 
and I love you, but we don't love each other anymore. We 
have problems when we live together, just between us, and 
we can't seem to work them out. I don't think your Father 
will be coming home anymore." 

Carrington was afraid. She wanted to cry, but she bit 
her lip hard not to. When her eyes started watering, she bit 
twice as hard, but it wasn't working. To keep her mother 
from seeing her tears, she pretended to study her shoes. She 
wouldn't cry, she mustn't. She feared his absence like she 
feared the arrival of thunderstorms. They were almost the 
same to her. They brought the same emptiness to her 
stomach. Her father was gone. Carrington needed to think 
about it. She went to her room where she could think 
about her dad. He was gentleness for her, especially when 
she climbed up on the couch, right next to him, and 
watched him sing about the dragon, Puff, and their place 
by the sea. His deep voice whispered song after song, and 
she felt safe with him there. But now he was gone. She 
missed him already. She tried to imagine what it would be 
like without him there. She thought the house was lonely 
without him there. 

Struggling to get her blue-lacquered rocking chair mov- 
ing back and forth, Carrington leaned her body way out 
over the edge and then flung her weight back against the 
cushion. Her legs reached just half way to the floor, but 
she managed to get the rocker swaying. She felt settled and 
knew her mother wouldn't see her here, so she let herself 
cry. When she finished, she slid out of the rocker and 
walked over to her window. Past the front yard, she 
followed Ivey Lane as it twisted and curved up the hill con- 
necting all the neighborhood's houses. Of all the different 
styles, she liked hers best; it was like a castle to her. The 
white pillars on the front porch rose up two whole stories, 
but standing at their base, they seemed even taller. And the 
red brick sides spread over the lot with authority. 
Somehow, the house stood taller than the rest. 

The kids in the area liked her house best too; it was 
the only one with a tree house. This was important because 
the tree house was the most advantageous home territory 
during water fights and cowboy and Indian wars. Her 
house also had a creek that ran behind it. They waded in 
the creek on the hottest days and chased frogs up the hill 
after heavy rains. You could find gnomes there too because 
they liked to live near mossy rocks. Those were the same 
rocks the children buried treasure under in the fall. Yes, 
she loved her red brick castle, but she thought the castle 
would fall without its king . . . 

"Carrington. Finish your breakfast please. The way 
you run around this place like a wild Indian set loose you 
need to eat good meals." 

From the right side of the table Marc set his empty 
milk glass down with two-handed care. "I finished mine, 
Carrie," her brother beamed over to Carrie. Carrington 



nodded to let Marc know she was pleased. She thought thi 
white mustache circling his mouth looked silly, but shi 
didn't say anything because she didn't want to make hin 
feel stupid. 

Later that night she kissed her brother goodnight; i 
was something she always did, probably because she likei 
to help him say his prayers. 

One of her favorite pictures hung in a frame over hi 
bed. A print with black capital lettering in the middle wa 
bordered by drawings of wild animals, some with red, glai 
ing eyes and some with long pointy teeth. But the poer 
was special: 

From Ghoulies 

And Ghosties 

Long Leggitie Beasties 
And things that 

Go Bump 
In the night, 
Good Lord Deliver Us. 

. . ."And God bless Daddy." 

"That's good, now climb on in and get yourself I 
sleep. It's past your bedtime." 

"Night Carrie." 

"Night Marc." 

Marc came back to Carrington's room again th 
night. She didn't mind it, though. She knew why he w 
afraid of thunderstorms. It was like being afraid of thin 
that go bump in the night. When the rumbles started, yi 
thought the monsters were charging at you, or draggii 
steel balls across the attic floor. And when the wind bli 
mist in through the screen coverings, you felt like t 
beasties had brushed long unshaven legs up against yo 
The lightning roared louder than wild demons and flash 
shapeless shadows against the walls. Outside, the stoi 
combed tangles into the tossing willow's well-kept mai 
The sky's blackness seeped to the far edges of the nigl 
Not even the moon peeked through that blackness. W 
both their noses pressed against the wet window sera, 
they watched flashes light up the sky. Then another fki 
outlined the trees. 

"It's the thunder," Marc noticed, "it's like an an|/ 
man yelling." 

Carrington listened to her brother. She agreed wi 
him. The storm was her mother crying. It was her fatir 
yelling. But Carrington was tired of remembering her fair 
this way. 

"Let's go out on the porch and see what it's likl 
Marc turned to his sister, afraid of her suggestion, but tin 
chuckled to himself at the thought of actually going i| 
the rain. 

From the porch, the wind seemed less dangerous. n 
fact, it felt playful blowing across their cheeks and tn 
swirling their hair into tiny circles. Carrington turd 
straight into the wind; she wanted the spray to tickle | 



i hashes. Rain fell in big, heavy drops, almost in bunches, 
; d sounded like glass marbles bouncing on the kitchen 
i or. Thunder surrounded them; the drums rolled slowly, 
I ginning with a low beat and ending with a steady boom. 
' ey stood there, side by side, facing the flashing sky. 

Crack. Crack. Crack. Then they counted together, 
' )ne thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand 
t ee, one thousand four, one thousand five . . .". Boom! 
r ey jumped a little with its weight. 

\\ "It's leaving. The thunders are farther apart," Car- 
rgton offered softly. 

I "It wasn't that bad, huh?" 

"Not really. I used to think it would hurt us, or really, 
tilt it wanted to hurt us. But it's just a rainstorm, Marc." 



"Yeah, just a rainstorm," Marc added. 

Carrington looked out at the rain and realized that the 
storms would all be the same. One was never more fright- 
ening than the next. In fact, they almost had a pattern 
about them. She ran out into the naked darkness. Her fluf- 
fy pink nightgown, soaked with the falling rain, clung to 
her body with its wetness. It wasn't cold rain; it was warm, 
and it felt wonderful as it dripped from her hair down her 
neck and then down her back. She spread her arms out and 
opened her palms to catch the falling drops. Marc watched 
her from the steps. He decided to join her. 

Together in the yard, they stopped jumping when the 
thunder sounded. Their soaked night clothes clung like 
sticky noodles to their skin. But they didn't notice it. They 
just stood there, laughing. 



Brady Whitley 
First Place, Prose 

Muse Contest 




PEN AND INK DRAWING 

by Alex Kirk bride 



CLOCK OF PINK 

Elizabeth Archer 

Tea stained paper, bound with red yarn, clings to my night . . 
a pressed pink rose discolored with time, 
scented letters that no longer smell of lavender, 
a photograph of my staircase and me, 
the white velvet ribbon that highlighted my hair, 
A midnight reflection, embedded in the torn edges of time . . 

Only I keep the ticket to enter. 






THE DISASTER 

Jacquie Taylor 

The silence is loud, 

The darkness glares down deserted corridors 

Filled with motionless Christmas animation. 
Suddenly — 

A loud hollow echo, and the sound of 
scurrying, retreating footsteps. 

And it begins — 

slowly, slowly. 

Small and blue it dances up the wall, 

Joining a harmony of yellow tongues. 

It sweeps up the cotton snow, 

Singeing the hair of the little drummer boy, 

Bursting the shiny glass balls, 

Leaving only black remnants. 

Long after the firemen have gone, 
Smoke still curls from under fallen beams, 
Waving its victory to those who weep. 



THE VISITOR 

Brady Whitley 

Tonight, 

searching out the window for you, 
I hear your words whisper 
in our oldest oak trees and 
in our swaying Spanish moss. 

Your smell, 

a musty velvet curtain 
now a faded lavender, 
remains. 

Outside, 

tall columns rise to the moon, 
night clouds on a diamond canvas. 

Spirits wander 

with the wind. 

You come knocking on the door 
and enter, then 
you linger in the house. 

The pine-scented hope box 
tries to hold you, 
the salmon-colored slate roofs, 
the brickwalls green from your painted brush. 

And in the hallway, 

boards creek under your step. 

From room to room you tiptoe 
while calendars come and go, 
and the grandfather clock chimes, 

chimes, chimes. 







I --s 



PENCIL DRAWING 

by Ellen Turner 



D.L. 

by Mimi Haithcox 



Every since I was a child I've wondered what the let- 
irs D.L. stood for. And when I learned my alphabet in the 
irst grade I felt quite sure that my newly-acquired 
nowledge would help me to break the code and that I 
ould have its secret revealed to me. Much to my disap- 
ointment, the answer evaded me then, and it still does 
ow. 

D.L. was up in years. (The last count I heard was 85.) 
le was rather small with a little tuft of white hair on his 
;ad. In the words of his wife he was ". . . senile and 
jin' to hell if he didn't quit his drinkin' and git to 
hurch." He had also ". . . outlived his purpose" and 
asn't "no use to nobody . . . jest a worry." 

You had to hand it to his wife, though. She was con- 
derate enough not to enlighten anyone about his 
lelessness in front of him. She made sure he was out of 
irshot or at least that his back was turned. It seems she 
dn't like the way he rambled on. He called what he said 
'portant"; she called it "rot of the mouth." It didn't 
em to matter what she called it, there was always lots of 

I used to go for a visit now and again to help with the 
opping or cooking or cleaning or often just to offer a 
gnt change in the scenery, and I always found it amusing 
watch D.L. around his wife. It seems the more she 
Iked about him and the quieter she was while doing it, 
e better he heard. 

! It always happened that as soon as I walked in the 

or of their house, D.L.'s wife would let out with the 

y's lamentations. Needless to say, I was worried that 

L. might hear her, and his wife, seeing the look of con- 

i n on my face, would offer something like condolence, 

)h, he cain't hear. Thas part of it. He cain't hear a 

1 ng. What he cain't hear ain't a gonna' hurt him none." 

I When her back was turned I could look out into the 

ling room and see D.L. sitting with his legs propped up 

i the wood heater, wiping the snuff from his chin, and 

i tckling heartily. No, he could hear just fine. 

I did, however, enjoy his wife quite a bit. She taught 
i many of the lost arts of the Southern household. I 
\ lid bake breads, can and preserve fruits and vegetables, 
i ke quilts, and I could weave cloth. But when she began 
1 update of D.L.'s hopeless and sinful condition, I would 
j t have to put off any further learning until the next visit. 
1 ides, by then D.L. would be calling me. 

I would walk out to D.L. beside the wood heater and 
i how much wood he thought he needed. He always had 
a irge stack easily within his reach, but it was the much- 
t ered ritual of my chopping and his instruction that he 
s ned to enjoy so much. A little extra wood wouldn't 



He usually began the ceremony with, "Yep. It's hard 
to find a young'un nowadays that'll work for his keep. 
They's all so dang lazy and worthless." I knew he wasn't 
referring to me. He just needed a proper introduction for 
his story about his youthful days on the railroad with his 
dad. 

He would continue, "Back in my day, if a young'un 
didn't work, he didn't eat and he got a good hidin' jest to 
keep him in line. That's what young'uns need nowadays 
... a good hidin' . . . makes 'em appreciate the good life 
they got." He went on as I chopped wood. 

" 'Minds me of when I was a young'un. One day my 
daddy took me to the rails and put me to workin'. I sure 
hated that work. So when I got a chance to eat my lunch, I 
ran over to where the box cars was lined up. I unhitched 
one jest for spite. That box car commenced to rollin' and 
smashed right into a big oak tree. I got the hidin' of my 
life that time. My daddy learnt me a lesson I'll never 
forget. I never went near another box car durin' my lunch 
break again. Goes to show how 'portent a good hidin' can 
be to a smart-ass young'un". By the time he had finished 
that story, which he never failed to tell me each time I went 
for a working visit, it was time to go down to the cellar 
and check on his cider, wine, and beer. That always 
brought him to another of his stories, which also got prop- 
er introduction. 

He cleared his throat and began rather dismally, 
"Never can tell what them city, company men put into 
their food. Never know jest what you're a' eatin'. Them 
old chemicals theys puttin' in everything '11 kill you deader 
than sure. I won't touch nothin' them companies make, 
less my doctor says to". By now he had given his approval 
of the cider and said that it would be fit in another few 
weeks. We would head over toward the beer and wine and 
he would go on. 

"Hell, I 'member one time I ate me some hog feet and 
washed it down with some of that store-bought beer. I got 
so sick I couldn't eat for two days. Ever since, I only drink 
what I make". He would then give his okay to the beer and 
wine and we would start out the door. 

He knew he had my attention all the time, but out of 
habit, no doubt formed with his wife's help, he always 
added, "You listenin'? You listen right close and I'll learn 
you somethin'." I would nod, and he would smile. 

By then it was time for me to go home and tend to 
whatever was left undone. I would stop in the kitchen to 
tell his wife goodbye. She never failed to invite me out 
again. Nor did she ever fail to give one last complaint 
about D.L.'s awful state. 

As I neared the door, I would always hear her say, 
"He ain't got good sense. He's dang looney". And so, 



briefly, I began to consider the possibility of D.L. standing 
for "dang looney", but I quickly dismissed it because it 
would be too obvious. Half of her fun was talking about 
D.L. without his having the faintest notion of what she was 
saying. But, of course, he could hear just fine. 

One day I proudly announced that my mare was with 
foal and looked ready to have it at any moment. D.L.'s 
wife smiled and said that a special occasion like that called 
for a special meal and that while she was fixing dinner, I 
should go out and see what D.L. wanted, if anything. I 
walked out to the living room where D.L. had his legs 
propped up on the wood heater and asked how much wood 
he needed. To my surprise and slight dismay, he answered, 
"None." 

"Reckon we can do without for right now". His 
beaming but toothless smile eased my concern. While we 
were waiting for dinner, he mostly talked about this and 
that — practically everything except my mare. 

The squirrel stew, biscuits, cornbread, sauerkraut, field 
peas, and apple pie were ready, so we sat down to eat. His 
wife talked on and on about my mare, but D.L. barely said 
a word. We finished dinner and I got up to leave. 

As 1 was opening the tattered screen door, D.L. 
boomed, "Soon, real soon, but not yet." He sounded as if 
he were preaching about Christ's return. Anyhow, I took it 
to mean that the cider, beer, and wine would soon be fit. I 
acknowledged what he said with a short breath of laughter, 
but I couldn't help but wonder if my mention of the horse 
had upset him. I could not for the life of me figure out 
why such a thing as a mare would make him so deathly 
silent. I had decided that 1 would make no more mention 
of my mare — just to be on the safe side. 

For the next few days things went on as they normally 
had. D.L.'s stories, his wife's lamentations and the "dang 
looney" farewell all offered a type of security. I was once 
again wondering what D.L. meant. At the close of each 
visit, D.L. always boomed out something about "it" being 



real soon. Now I was concerned that he was talking about 
his cider and other beverages. He said it so often that I was 
beginning to wonder if he was becoming senile. So I began 
putting more time between my visits. 

One morning around 6:30, I was awakened by a 
horse's whinnying. My mare was lying down and making 
horrendous noises deep in her throat. It was time for her 
foal. It was her first, and it looked as if she were having 
problems. As I watched her irregular breathing and saw her 
muscles begin to twitch, I realized what it must be like 
when the inability to change a situation makes one feel 
useless. It must have been that way with D.L., I thought. 
Perhaps D.L. had begun to accept his supposed 
"uselessness." 

I had decided that someone with experience was 
needed, so I walked back toward the house, intending to 
call the veterinarian. "There ain't no need to go and call 
one of them city slickers. If a man cain't depend on his self 
he ain't got no need for a mare." Yes, it was D.L., in all 
his philosophical glory. 

"I ain't got no idee why some folks don't listen. All 
they need to do is listen to somebody who got a good 
hidin' when he was young . . ."I hadn't the opportunity 
to tell him my mare was delivering. Perhaps this was what 
he meant by "real soon, not yet, but real soon." 

Then he proceeded to talk about interference in 
general. "Don't know why young'uns think they got to 
mess with everything. If they jest leave things alone, they'll 
work themselves out." I was so enthralled by him and by 
what he was saying that when I realized he had finished 
talking, the foal had been safely born. 

I walked D.L. home to his wife who, as soon as D.L 
entered, said, "Ain't you got good sense? You ought t( 
know that mare won't be havin' a foal! Danged looney ant 
deaf!" For the first time I began to sense the presence o 
some sort of affection in her verbal blows. As D.L. walkei 
into the living room, took a dip of snuff, and plopped hi 
legs on the wood stove, he began to chuckle. 






Mimi Haithcox 
Second Place, Pros 
Muse Contest 




PENCIL DRAWING 

by Ellen Turner 



OLD FRED 

Sally Buckner 

Old Fred came percolating back to town last August, 

Bought up his cousin's farm, tore down the house, 

And built, for him and his wife, and two near-grown kids, 

Sixteen rooms — not counting the seven bathrooms. 

(Must have a weak bladder.) And a four-car garage, 

Which ain't enough, he still parks two outside. 

Set up office in his house; far as I can tell, 

About all he does is keep on the phone to Wall Street 

And add up his accounts. Comes downtown 

About twice a week, drops in here for a Coke 

And Lucky Strikes or to renew his Valium 

Or pick up milk of magnesia for his old lady. 

She'd die if she heard me call her that; come to think 

Of it, she dyes anyways — platinum blond last week, 

Redhead the week before. That's a joke. She's a joke, 

Too, far as I can tell. Anyhow, Fred'll 

Jaw for an hour or more if I'm not too busy, 

Talk about growing up in a sharecropper's shack, 

Pulling his belt real tight so's no one could tell 

His third-time hand-me-down-britches was two sizes too big; 

Talk about leaving town with just six bits 

And a pack of Luckies in his pocket; talk about thumbing 

To Charlotte, scrabbling around, picking up money, 

Picking up women, learning to turn 'em over 

(Women and money both); talk about how he done it 

All by hisself. To hear him tell it, 

It was him against the world. Gets right choked up 

Sometimes, swivels the stool, leans on the counter, 

Eyeballing me, says, "Harvey, look at me good; 

If ever there was one, you're seeing a self-made man." 

If he's said it once, he's said it a dozen times. 

I ain't told him, but he don't need to repeat it. 

Hell, nobody else'd want to take the blame. 

Lord knows, it's easy to see he's a one-man job. 



Sally Buckner 
Muse Week Writer 

© The Lyricist, 1980 




PEN AND INK DRAWING 



Alex Kirkbride 
Second Place, Art 
Muse Contest 



GOING OUT 

Betty Adcock 

Beforehand, I try on everything I can think of: 

lady, mother, witch, sister, slut. 

I zip myself into one, check for leaks, 

promise myself this time 

I'm not going to be gulled out of anything. 

I'm going to talk and smile right, 
and fit with how the ceiling's lit. 

But other people's faces loose me 
past boundaries, past reasoning with, 
into packages with strange 
addresses, into smells, other wools 
pricking my skin. 

And there's always the same bystander, 
some butcher or window-dresser 
who watches, standing still as a center, 
who has mastered the art of never 
blinking his eyes. 

When I see him, I'll start to like all the tenants 

hiding under my backbone wanting a party. 

I'll know from his face I've escaped 

too happily from something I deserved. 

So I'll let out the knife-thrower, the spangled 

suicide, the rabbit unfolding from the dark, 

the sweet dove reaching up, scarf after scarf, 

mistakes and identities. 
I'll pretend the box worked with him in it. 

One of us will disappear. 



Betty Adcock 
Muse Week Writer 






AFTER YOU PUBLISH THE BOOK 

Julie Suk 

You plant a seed, 
and when it sprouts, 
climb to the clouds, 
and tease the giant to fall. 

The sound reports for miles. 

People cheer! 

They love catastrophe, 

the rubble, the gore, 

the pieces they can pick through. 

You're a hero! 

That is, until gossip 
and bickering begin. 

People say you'll do anything 
for attention — court favors, 
stick beans up your nose. 

And now, the monster 
lying here exposed. 

How you wish it all back: 
the cow so blithely traded, 
your family and landscape 
familiar and neat, 

the friends who admired you 
before the unspeakable 
flopped at their feet. 



Julie Suk 

Muse Week Writer 




PEN AND INK DRAWING 



Amanda Durant 
Third Place, Art 
Muse Contest 



LA BREA 

Richard Kenney 

Early 

It is very early now, no light yet, nor 

sensation, apart from simple motions of waking: 

discomfort in the chill air, the stiff walk 

quick across cold floor-boards, razor, 

brushed lather and warm tap water off 

my cheeks — the feel of bare wool on wrists 

and throat — the hiss of the stove, and white coffee. 

Alone in this house, I wonder if tabula rasa 

ever existed at all. Lake Champlain looks flat, 

black by starlight; even the sheaved winds 

are flat as feathers on a sleeping raven's wing — 

Later, forecast rains will toss down Smuggler's Notch 

in silver skirt-veils, hiss across the flatiron 

lake like drops on a woodstove, into the night — 

Tranquility 

and hideous broom-flaps here, unfolding condors 
knuckled to the vague bed-rail, and hung door- 
jamb anthropoid with clothes — In this appalling 
light even physical objects fail, conform 
to memories and night's La Brea, the glossy oil pools 
By breakfast all grotesques have quit their roaring, 
pawing at the sky for light and release, followed 
their immense tracks down sinkholes of their own 
muddling until the only evidence 
of dreams is gone, erratic haloes ravens 
figured, just askim the water, rings, rings, 
and love, your slender unstockinged feet scarcely 
and always rough the nap of a newswept carpet 
still, and this is not tranquility, not yet — 



Richard Kenney 
Muse Week Writer 

© American Scholar, 1977/78 



NUCLEAR POEM 

Celso Emilio Ferreiro 

How wonderful, here comes the bomb with its uproar! 

The bomb, bang! the bomb, good friend. 

The bomb so full of ants and wires, 

and ovens to roast all the blond children. 

The bomb with its tape-worms, gadgets, 

glow-worms, fluorescent lights, 

lead fishes, vomit, water lilies, 

stars of plutocratic plutonium, 

manure of hydrogenated cobalt. 

The bomb, bang! The bomb, good friend. 
With atoms exploding in a chain, 
breaking all the chains that tied us: 

the high buildings, 

the high functionaries, 

the high financiers, 

the high ideals, 

all turning into radioactive ash! 

The stupid mothers who gave birth to children 
will be dust, though loving dust. 

The stupid fathers, the prostitutes, 

the grand dames of charity, 

the magnates and the moochers, 

the highnesses, excellences, eminences, 

the knighted and unknighted gentlemen 

will be nothing, love, if the bomb comes. 

Love will be nothing and death that died 

with blessings and plenary indulgences will be nothing. 

How wonderful, here comes the bomb! In a tiny instant 

lovely spring turns into an ash 

of restless foetal isotopes, 

of lethal smiles melting 

under an arch of triumphal atoms. 

The bomb, bang! The bomb with its huge drum 

of mushrooms and swollen volutes 

is coming fast. Watch it, there it comes, good friend. 

It serves us right! It is all right! It's good! 

Baaang!!! 



Translated from the Galician by Dolores Lado 
St. Mary's Faculty 



AFTER YOU PUBLISH THE BOOK 

Julie Suk 

You plant a seed, 
and when it sprouts, 
climb to the clouds, 
and tease the giant to fall. 

The sound reports for miles. 

People cheer! 

They love catastrophe, 

the rubble, the gore, 

the pieces they can pick through. 

You're a hero! 

That is, until gossip 
and bickering begin. 

People say you'll do anything 
for attention — court favors, 
stick beans up your nose. 

And now, the monster 
lying here exposed. 

How you wish it all back: 
the cow so blithely traded, 
your family and landscape 
familiar and neat, 

the friends who admired you 
before the unspeakable 
flopped at their feet. 



Julie Suk 

Muse Week Writer 




PEN AND INK DRAWING 



Amanda Durant 
Third Place, Art 
Muse Contest 



LA BREA 

Richard Kenney 

Early 

It is very early now, no light yet, nor 

sensation, apart from simple motions of waking: 

discomfort in the chill air, the stiff walk 

quick across cold floor-boards, razor, 

brushed lather and warm tap water off 

my cheeks — the feel of bare wool on wrists 

and throat — the hiss of the stove, and white coffee. 

Alone in this house, I wonder if tabula rasa 

ever existed at all. Lake Champlain looks flat, 

black by starlight; even the sheaved winds 

are flat as feathers on a sleeping raven's wing — 

Later, forecast rains will toss down Smuggler's Notch 

in silver skirt-veils, hiss across the flatiron 

lake like drops on a woodstove, into the night — 

Tranquility 

and hideous broom-flaps here, unfolding condors 
knuckled to the vague bed-rail, and hung door- 
jamb anthropoid with clothes — In this appalling 
light even physical objects fail, conform 
to memories and night's La Brea, the glossy oil pools 
By breakfast all grotesques have quit their roaring, 
pawing at the sky for light and release, followed 
their immense tracks down sinkholes of their own 
muddling until the only evidence 
of dreams is gone, erratic haloes ravens 
figured, just askim the water, rings, rings, 
and love, your slender unstockinged feet scarcely 
and always rough the nap of a newswept carpet 
still, and this is not tranquility, not yet — 



Richard Kenney 
Muse Week Writer 

© American Scholar, 1977/78 



NUCLEAR POEM 

Celso Emilio Ferreiro 

How wonderful, here comes the bomb with its uproar! 

The bomb, bang! the bomb, good friend. 

The bomb so full of ants and wires, 

and ovens to roast all the blond children. 

The bomb with its tape -worms, gadgets, 

glow-worms, fluorescent lights, 

lead fishes, vomit, water lilies, 

stars of plutocratic plutonium, 

manure of hydrogenated cobalt. 

The bomb, bang! The bomb, good friend. 
With atoms exploding in a chain, 
breaking all the chains that tied us: 

the high buildings, 

the high functionaries, 

the high financiers, 

the high ideals, 

all turning into radioactive ash! 

The stupid mothers who gave birth to children 
will be dust, though loving dust. 

The stupid fathers, the prostitutes, 

the grand dames of charity, 

the magnates and the moochers, 

the highnesses, excellences, eminences, 

the knighted and unknighted gentlemen 

will be nothing, love, if the bomb comes. 

Love will be nothing and death that died 

with blessings and plenary indulgences will be nothing. 

How wonderful, here comes the bomb! In a tiny instant 

lovely spring turns into an ash 

of restless foetal isotopes, 

of lethal smiles melting 

under an arch of triumphal atoms. 

The bomb, bang! The bomb with its huge drum 

of mushrooms and swollen volutes 

is coming fast. Watch it, there it comes, good friend. 

It serves us right! It is all right! It's good! 

Baaang!!! 



Translated from the Galician by Dolores Lado 
Si. Mary's Faculty 



THE POET 

Jacqueline Morris 

You are the juggler, 

carefully spilling words 

onto cold blank pages 

suddenly brought to life. 

You give birth to a brilliant array of 

dreams and desires. 

You have so much to say 
but often you can not speak. 
Then you write, 
the words run swiftly past me, 
my heart races to catch and 
preserve each phrase. 

Calm tranquility in a noisy, smoke-filled room. 

You smile and remember my name, 

ask me how I am. 

I, hardly aware of anything else 

except those blue eyes looking back at me, 

stammer a quick reply. 

Your gifted hand reaches for my limp one. 

I wonder what you are thinking about. 

Your wife, perhaps? 

Can you read me as well as you write? 

I am just a silly girl 

in love with your eyes and your words. 



THE COST OF CLOUDS 

Elizabeth Archer 

A dreamer pays the price 

whether rich or poor: 

A dreamer pays the price 

more than once, 

more than twice. 




PEN AND INK DRAWING 

by Tomoko Asami 



Sonnet 



I tike thee a tot. 
I [ike the way theejieam. 
%ou art better than ajold pot, 
Thy smile is a beam. 

Shan thee sing a sweet song I 
Thou hath tfie sound of rings, 
tiear the beis_going ding-dong, 
"Docs tkee wish to have wings? 

If ikce did have wings, tkee would jig like a butterfly 
Tnee never lies to living tilings. 
I didnt like to SAy by by 
I wiu_$ive tkee rings! 

AVttfv thee I wd spend hours 

We willao on the very top of towers f 

Jxathaniel Quinn 
May 19SZ 




CA&M «z 
J 



PEN AND INK DRAWING 

by Catherine Williamson 



BILLY RAN AWAY 

Billy ran away 

And he didn't want to come back and stay 

And he didn't come back and stay 

All day. 

— Louise Bauso (age 5) 



WHAT TO DO 

What to do 

If a flying ganoo 

Should suddenly stop right in front of you. 

What to do 

If a big ugly fly 

Should make up his mind not to die. 

Well, your mind wouldn't know, 

It would send the wrong message right down to your toe. 

And your toe would go back 

Instead of to the front. 

And you would be doing an amaaaaazing stunt. 

— Katy Bauso (age 7) 



REFLECTIONS 

By Faculty, Staff and Students 




Candlestick 
by Lynn Jones 



The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is 
the same problem you had last year. 

Sue Osborne 

School is like putting money in the bank . . . you only get as much back as you put in. 

Jack Kraemer 

We all yearn for a sense of control over our environment — to feel that we can make decisions that 
are right for us. Education gives us that sure sense of self. 

Hannah Scoggin 

A class is not a democracy. It is a monarchy, and those who enjoy having their heads attached to 
their shoulders would be well advised to observe the monarch's rules. 

Giva Watson 



Traditionally, college has been the place where pearls are 

polished — not where they are pulled, screaming, from the shell. 



Anna Wooten-Hawkins 



The moon is a distraction from our studies; it speaks to us of summertime and entices us to 
remember . . . 

Brady Whitley 

Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing badly. Whatever is not worth doing, is not worth 
doing at all. 

Doug Murray 

(After Lord Chesterfield) 



Ignorance as an excuse is not law. 



Steven Esthimer 



Argument cannot produce, and doubt cannot remove, instinctive generosity. 

Anna Wooten-Hawkins 



A dream is reality in a fantasy world. A real life experience: no questions asked. 

Religion has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. 

Jacqueline Morris 

The real genius of any life is the defiance of boredom. 

Anna Wooten-Hawkins 



Elizabeth Archer 



I saw thee sitting on a throne 

of gold ... the only sad one . . . 
for thou didst not hear 

The soft, Lute-finger'd Muses 
chaunting clear . . . 

Keats 
"Lamia" 



MUSE 1984 



Saint Mary's College 



Muse Editor 
Assistant Editor 
Editorial Staff 



Brady Whitley 

Jacqueline Morris 

Elizabeth Jane Archer 
Tomoko Asami 
Christine Trask 
Katherine Walton 



Muse Consultants 



Muse Advisor 



Ellen Anderson 
Douglas Murray 

Anna Wooten-Hawkins 



Muse Contest 



Art Judge 
Poetry Judge 
Prose Judge 



Mary Ann K. Jenkins 
Mab Segrest 
Michael Matros 



With special thanks to the writers who read their 
work in the Muse Week Festival: 

Fred Chappell 
Robert Watson 
Anna Wooten-Hawkins 
Student Writers 



*Cover art by Christine Trask, who won Third Place in Art in the Muse Contest 



Printed by Commercial Printing Company 

1313 Fairview Road, Raleigh, North Carolina 27608 



GOD, HE LOVED HIS LAND 

Maria Howard 

Wind whips around the red corner. 

Puffs of orange soil swirl around the tobacco plants. 

Memama and I sat and watched. 

She said, "Daddy Bill used to walk around here. 
The mules in the barn knew him. 
They'd haw and holler all day long." 

I thought about Daddy Bill and Memama. 

They lived on their acreage for ages, I always thought. 

I reckon it still looks the same. 

The land is angry and glares, Klee painted. 

It is an angry gash on the forehead of the earth. 

The red of the barn is different, warmer and dull. 

Pines line the long-dried irrigation pond. 
There is an abandoned mattress there now. 
Seedlings are rooted in the sluggish mud. 

Crows and grackles live in the eaves of the barn. 

Daytimes, they line the limbs of the locust tree. 

The tree's beans litter the ground with brown apostrophes. 

But best of all in the backyard, I like the earth. 
It is ugly, and the color of a brick-red Crayola. 
But it is rich. 

In spring, there is a pale green mist over the furrows. 

In July, the fieldmouse looks up to a forest of green and gold. 

By September, dismembered stalks reach for God. 

The ugly clay grows a wealth of tobacco here. 

But God, Daddy Bill loved his land. 



First Place, Poetry 
Muse Contest 




PEN AND INK DRAWING 

Mary Lisa Newman 
First Place, Art 
Muse Contest 



COLIN'S BATTLE 

Jacqueline Morris 

Emphysema struck him at fifty, 

glaucoma soon after. The white educated coats 

took away his simple pleasures, 

and still he could not breathe. 

His breathing sounded like walking barefoot on broken glass. 

His last year was spent 
with the white clowns and mechanical toys, 
the sheets and tubes that wrapped him up tight 
like a parcel post package without stamps, unable 
to be mailed anywhere. 

The Byrd machines, the physical therapy treatments. 

In desperation he screamed, 

"I'm too sick for this! Those nurses keep smoking. 

I want a lawyer, I'll sue, I'll sue!" 

Everyone thought him a fool but the granddaughter who 

caught, red-handed, one of the white witches 

smoking by the ICU UNIT— NO SMOKING ALLOWED. 

"I've had a stroke," he told his wife one morning. 

He had four more that night. 

Jesse James of Moore Memorial robbed him of his speech 

and the movement of his right side. 

They would never hear him laugh, curse, or ask how the pets were. 

The white coats let him come home. 

The granddaughter put her dog in his lap and watched the last joy 

he felt leak from his eyes like crystals. 



Second Place, Poetry 
Muse Contest 



ON THE CHEROKEE RESERVATION 

Elizabeth Richardson 

On the Cherokee Reservation that day 

a warrior and his son walked 
through the empty plain 

which was the plain of the world 
The warrior wore a headdress 

and carried a cold peace pipe 
in his hand 
while his son carried pelts 

which he kept handing out 
individually 
to animals 
as if each were furless 

And then the two of them came on 

through the empty plain 
which was the plain of the world 

and then 
at a very dusty spot where the bones dried 
and seemed to have been waiting through all time 

for them 
they sat down together in the dust 

without looking at one another 
and ate cannibis leaves 
without looking at one another 
and put the stems 
in the bowl which seemed 

to have been brought for that purpose 
without looking at one another 

And the warrior took off his headdress and moccasins 
but kept his hair in 

braids 
and without saying anything 
fell to chanting 

and his son just stood there looking 
at the ponies grazing 

nickering to one another 
in the stifling air 
as if they were fighting 

against a slow suffocation 
of the past 

But finally 

he too sat down cross-legged 
and fell to chanting 

and fingering the cold peace pipe 
which nobody smoked 

and finally looking at his father 
his face 
told of a quiet 

despair. 



Third Place, Poetry 
Muse Contest 



1 



■&SSsr 




PENCIL DRAWING 



Christine Trask 
Second Place, Art 



COLLEGE 

(A Parody of Gregory Corso's Poem, "Marriage") 

Maria Howard 

Should I stay in college? Should I be good? 

Astound my parents with my sheepskin and hood? 

Don't go to bowling alleys but to class 

Tell my teacher about the Sierra Club and Euclid 

Impressing him, and affecting him, and all the prerequisites 

And he instructing me and 1 understanding why 

Not getting confused saying "I must learn! It's beautiful to learn!" 

And inviting him into my soul lean against a splintered desk 

And woo him the entire semester with the words in my being. 

When he introduces me to his poetry 

Sweatshirted, hair all curly, strangled by a crush, 

Should 1 sit knees together in my dirty Lees 

and not ask "May I go to the bathroom?" 

How else to feel other than I am, 

often thinking Opium and Grey Flannel — 

O how terrible for a teacher 

seated before a young student, the teacher thinking, 

"I never noticed her before!" 

After class and assignments he asks, "What are you doing tonight?" 

Should I say "Nothing?" Would he like me then? 

Would he say "All right. Dinner then. I'll meet you by the courts. 

But don't tell your parents." 

Then I'd really have to go to the bathroom. 

O God and the date! All the proprieties and the fumblings 

and me, showered for him, all grumbling and gurgling, 

too embarrassed to get at the drinks and food. 

And the Waiter! he looking at me in astonishment 

his eyes asking me if I'm aware of my escort's age 

And I trembling know his age only too well. 

When teacher kisses student, corny fireworks shoot off — 

I'm all his, and he knows it Ha! Ha! Ha! 

And in his eyes I can see what he wants to happen 

Then all the reasons and excuses and apologies 

Questions! Blushes! School! Friends! 

All streaming into my room 

All knowing where I was tonight 

The indifferent waiter he knowing what was going to happen 

The small town busboys they knowing what 

The whistling friends they knowing 

The winking roommate knowing 

Everybody knowing! I'd almost be inclined to do something! 

Stay out all night! Stare my mother in the eye! 

Screaming "I deny my upbringing! I deny Society!" 

Running rampant into those almost magnetic arms 

breathing "Kiss me! Touch me!" 

O I'd live in Sin forever! in a dark room under Richardson Hall 

I'd sit there the Mad Lover 

devising ways to break his language, a scourge of school 

a saint of lust — 



But I should go to college, I should be good. 

How nice it'd be to go to the dorm back to a single bed 

and sit by the window and he (in the next dorm's window) 

khaki'd young and handsome, wanting me 

and so happy about me that he flunks his statistics exam 

and comes crying to me and we lie in the grass 

1 saying Leather bikes! Stiff safety pins! Cardboard doorknobs! 

O God what a girlfriend I'd make! Yes, I should stay in college! 

So much to do! Like cutting off my fetal pig's snout 

and mailing it to Jim Hunt! 

Like unscrewing all the salt shaker tops! 

Like sneaking illegal beer in our room and 

getting drunk with the hall counselors! 

Like bouncing checks and having to call home 

collect for more money! 

Yet if I should stay in college and it's Davidson in snow 

and Khaki should get bored and 1 am sleepless, worn, 

up for nights, cheek pressed to a cold pane, his window across from mine, 

finding myself like a common woman, a pregnant girl 

knowledged with children, not World War I or the Krebbs cycle 

O! what would that be like! 

Surely I'd want to die, I'd rot in the library 

reading about abortions 

poring over addresses of adoption agencies 

conniving about marriage. 

No. I doubt I'd be that kind of girl 

Not pregnant not lonely no cold pane 

but happy warm small town college. 

Six flights up, potato chips and brownie crumbs on the carpet 

Fat friends screeching over Coors "He called me!" 

And five frat boys in love with me 

And my professors sexy and available 

like the ones in my fantasies. 

All wanting me, only me. 

But the teachers really want my attention: 

Composition, Poli. Sci, Brit. Lit. 

but what about intelligence? I forgot intelligence 
not that I'm incapable of intelligence 

It's just I see intelligence as weird as wearing clothes. 

1 never wanted to read a novel with no dialogue 
and run-on sentences are maddening 

And there's maybe a novel but it's already written 

And I don't like writing poetry and — 

but there's got to be something I can learn. 

Because what if I'm 21 years old and dumb 

all alone in a furnished room with ink stains on my forehead 

And everyone else is smart. 

All the universe is an expert but me. 

Ah! Yet well I know that where there is knowledge 

there intelligence is made possible. 

Like Dickens in lonely London 

waiting for the sublime ideas to enter his head, 

So I wait, bereft of talent and the joy of creating. 




J^frtCM/tL 



PEN AND INK DRAWING 

by Amanda Durant 



PARANOIA 

by Ellen McCallum 



It began, I think, with the arrest of Jesus Christ. I 

;an, that was the first day we really talked, standing on 

s steps outside the library one bright fall day. We had 

own each other for the past two years, but it was not un- 

the time of the arrest that we delved beyond amiable 

perficiality and began to associate with each other. I 

n't know why it was that particular conversation, opened 

th my anecdote on the arrest, which nailed us together. 

r me, it was the beginning of my inclusion. 

"You were always there in thought," I was later told. 

"Yeah, like God," I replied sarcastically, "But it 

isn't until this year that you deigned to include me in per- 

i." 

Sometimes one must work to become more than an 

erthought, but I think the absence of Julienne created 

r her a vacuum into which I, the afterthought, tumbled. 

After I knew her better, 1 began to wonder if that 

:uum had not been contrived. I knew how much she 

: ssed Julienne — indeed, I missed her terribly, for she was 

' friend too — and I wondered what I had to offer to fill 

- it space. I did ask her — once. 

"You're an intellectual," she told me. I was shocked, 
; i immediately attempted to strip that lie away from her 
V s. 

"I don't see myself as one," I dissuaded her. 
"People think you are," she countered. 
"It's not what people think, it's what / think I am," I 
; ;ued, and turned to go upstairs. 

"Wait ... I meant to ask you something." I paused, 
1 1 foot on the third step. "You know a lot about this col- 
1 e application process ... is an interview really that im- 
l ftant?" 

"Rather," I returned sarcastically. 
1 "Seriously?" she demanded. 

"Well, according to all the admissions books I've read, 
i ranked right up there with the essay in terms of impor- 
t ce. I think you should go," I answered, and continued 
i way up the stairs. 

It was not the first time she had asked me for advice, 
I lough usually her requests required more thought on my 
f t. I had become used to being her Dear Abby — I was 
t suited on the banal application process and on the pro- 
f nd reasons for Julienne acting as rudely stubborn as she 
I last year. Although I fretted that as we became closer I 
v ild lose my flattering role as advisor, I found that in- 
s id she consulted me more and more often. 
"Julienne wrote me today," she disclosed. 
"Oh, really? What'd she have to say?" I inquired. 
| "Ummm, she wants me to go up and see her some 
Avend." 



"That's great!" I gushed enviously. "When?" 

"Well, there's a slight problem." 

"Oh?" 

"I really . . . and I don't mean to be rude . . . but I 
just don't have the time . . ." 

"Hmph," I stated scornfully. 

"And besides that," she continued, undaunted, "it's 
so much trouble ..." 

"Oh, I'm sorry that one of the more important people 
in your life is too troublesome and time-consuming." 

"You don't understand . . ." she protested. 

"Then would you care to clarify your position for this 
court, Ma'am?" I argued sarcastically. "Seriously though, 
I really do understand. You'd just love to see her but iner- 
tia has set in and you have two papers due Monday and 
you don't want to spend eighty dollars on train tickets 

"That's it, sort of . . . not really. I want to go, really 
I do. I'm not trying to sound like a martyr or anything, but 
since Mom has the flu, I have to cook and do all my chores 
... I really can't leave." 

"Yeah, I know, I know," I nodded. "But isn't there 
any way you can go when your mom gets well?" 

"I don't know," she replied despondently. 

"Couldn't you get all your work done ahead . . . 
well, most of your work done ahead of time . . . your 
folks could eat soup and sandwiches for once, or go out." 

"Well, maybe . . ." 

"You really ought to go — you haven't seen each other 
since June and she won't be home for Thanksgiving." 

"This is true . . . I'll see." 

"You really miss her, don't you?" 

"Yes," she replied quietly. 

"I think that if you miss her that much, you'd find a 
way to go see her." 

"Why don't you go see her . . . she's your friend 
too," she said defensively. 

"Well, y'all are closer." 

"Pffth." 

". . . And besides, she didn't ask me," I said. 

"That's a weak excuse. Well, I've got things to do," 
she stated abruptly, and left. 

Rumor had it that Jesus Christ had been released. He 
was found wandering near the Presbyterian church several 
weeks after the arrest. You would have thought that the 
Presbyterians would have been delighted that Jesus had 
graced their church with His presence, but instead, they 
worried how to protect themselves and their children from 
this strange man. I kept her updated on His appearances in 
the course of our conversations, in which I commented 



upon everything from the pseudo-cult of Kafka to the mun- 
danities of English 102. But we always returned to her 
favorite theme, the college application process. 

We discussed potential essay topics, compared them 
with those Julienne had written, analyzed test scores, 
grades, activities and interests, and always winded up 
discussing the importance of the interview. She, of course, 
felt it was too much trouble to visit each college. 
Everything, it seemed, was too much trouble — even deci- 
sions, which she usually threw at me to make. 

I argued fine lines around going for the interview; even 
her protest of "It's too much trouble!" I could dispense 
with. "Too much trouble to do something about your 
life?" I would exclaim. 

Julienne helped as much as she could. The letters from 
Baltimore always contained at least a postscript encourag- 
ing her to go. Finally, my badgering paid off. She was leav- 
ing Wednesday. 

"How long?" I asked. 

"I'll be home Monday night," she said. It would take 
that long to travel to all four colleges, even if she squeezed 
in a nearby university late Monday afternoon. We said 
good-bye after I extracted the promise of a call with all the 
anecdotes and information as soon as she arrived home. 

The letter came Thursday. "I hope this gets to you 
before I do ... on Friday night, around eight. Unfor- 
tunately, I'll have to leave Sunday in order to be back for 
Monday's classes. I realize that seeing y'all might leave us 
all missing each other more, but I just had to see you two 
on my birthday . . . Love, Julienne." 

At first I was ecstatic. Julienne was coming home . . . 
but then I realized that only I would be here to greet her. 
Suddenly, my throat felt like it had been torn out through 



my rear end. I didn't want Julienne to come ... it w;n'i 
necessary ... I had just seen her when my family ai I 
had gone up North to visit relatives ... I felt piggish . , 
it wasn't fair . . . they hadn't seen each other since Jne, 
yet they had a much closer friendship than Julienne ad I 
had. 

We small-talked for awhile. Monday nights I aoid 
homework as much as I can. I told her Jesus Christ iad 
been re-arrested, but that this time he was being commted 
to Dix as a paranoid schizophrenic. I related Juliene'j 
comment that he was probably just some bored millionire. 

"You've been feeding Julienne that mess too?"she 
broke in. "Boy, you are obsessed. Don't tell me you rite 
letters on the subject." 

"Well, no . . . We just talked about it," I admied. 

"When'd you call her?" she asked lightly. 

"Ummm ... I got a letter from her Thursday . 
she came down this weekend," I added hesitantly. Silice 
"I'm terribly sorry you missed her," I continued slowl "I 
know it's my fault . . ." 

"Why?" she interrupted. 

"Well, I talked you into going to those interview lasi 
weekend, so you missed seeing her." 

"Pffsst. I didn't go to those interviews becauseycu 
told me to. When've I ever listened to you?" She iked 
categorically. 

Saving face, I joked, "Never." I realized it wa the 
truth. She cared enough to find out what I thought c her 
plans, then would usually go ahead with what shehad 
already decided. "I'm jus' a who'e," I played along i an 
old joke, "Don't nobody ever pay no min' to me." 

"Nah," she said comfortably. 



Ellen McCallm 
First Place, lost 
Muse Contest 







by Amanda Durant 



t 



ON THE EDGE OF SPRING 

Brady Whitley 

Almost Spring again — 
An aimless rain 

beneath the weight 

of platinum clouds, 
forlorn. 

The moonlit train returns 

to listen — 
Icy blue chapel windows 

stare 

into the darkness, 

a wet night 

hanging in circles 
beneath 
lamplight . . . 

awakened by this insensate season, 
lingering. 

Almost Spring again — 

The rain laughs 

in chilling exhaustion . . . 

Melancholy March, 

suspended for an eternity, 
holds loneliness closer — 

a lifeless anticipation 
dull and sickly, 
in the song 
of the oldest oaks. 



CANDY KITCHEN 

Elizabeth Jane Archer 

Women, all hips, 

share soda counter afternoons 

talking about daily specials and shakes. 

Green knit pants, elastic peeping through; 
hair tangled and teased 
glistens silver on stainless steel. 

Worn elbows, on polished white linoleum swirled with gold, 
lean to shine two dollar pumps. 

Coupons and coins litter the counter, 
cluttering thought. 

Fretting about the rain, 

stale menthol burns time between two fingers. 



WEBSTER'S CAUSE 

Mimi Haithcox 

Cut swift and easy 

and no chicken blood clots 

under my nails, 

no spills on the Webster Poultry Mill floor 

Chicago Cutlery knives 
like rusty tin glisten 
red and brown 

In a crowd of fryer-hen feathers 

and bodiless beaks 

I taste, still taste 

catfish hissing in lard at home 

Plastic wrapped fingers and forehead — 
pretend my work is crucial 
on each indispensable chicken 

Millwork ain't easy 
It ain't hard 
but debeaking chickens 
is an awful boring job 



TRUTH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH 

MM Haithcox 

Grandma got up to play 
when Sarah couldn't make it — 
because Preacher Smith said to 

Her one song 

"On Higher Ground" got done 

five times in a row 

(tithing took a while on 

the first of the month) 

I always sat there 

knocking muddy patent-leather shoes 

against the pew in front — 

Miss Ronie, smelling of Listerine 

and snuff, spewed out 

"Set still" between 

each verse 

Brother Hooks patted me on the head, 
"But she knows her Ten Commandments 
ever one in order" 

When Collection plate passed by, 
I took the nickel 
from Grandma's plastic 
pocketbook, and plunked it in 

Tithing over, 

she came back 

still smelling of snuff — 

dipped into her pocketbook 

for a Wrigley's Spearmint — 

and snapped her gums on it, 

as if she sat on higher ground 



1 
m 




PENCIL DRAWING 

by Tomoko Asami 



NATHAN 

by Hanya Radwan 



I first knew Nathan when he was a boy of fifteen with 
pleasant, ugly face, a mouth that never stopped laughing 
nd genial eyes. 

He used to spend his mornings lying about the beach, 
ith next to nothing on. His tall, broad-shouldered body 
as full of grace. He came in and out of the sea all the 
me, swimming with effortless strokes, in a style common 
) athletes. Scrambling up the rocks on his hard feet, ex- 
;pt on Sundays, he never wore shoes. He'd throw himself 
ito the water with a cry of delight. 

His father was a fisherman who owned his own vine- 
ard; Nathan, the eldest, acted as nursemaid to his younger 
-others. He shouted to them to come ashore, when they 
:ntured out too far. He made them dress when it was time 
i climb the hot vineclad hill for the unlavish midday meal. 

Boys in the southern parts of Italy grow quickly, and 
a little while, he was madly in love with a pretty girl who 
/ed on the "Grand Marina." Her eyes were like forest 
)ols, and she held herself as if she was one of Caesar's 
tughters. They were engaged, but unable to marry until 
athan had served his military duty. When he left the 
and for the first time in his life, he wept like a child. It 
as hard for someone who had never been less free than 
e birds to be at the beck and call of others. It was still 
irder for him when he had to live on a battleship with 
angers instead of in the small white cottage among the 
nes with his family. When he was ashore, he walked in 
iisy friendless cities on streets so crowded that he was 
ghtened to cross them; he had been used to silent paths, 
Duntains, and the sea. He was dreadfully homesick. 
Jthing was so hard compared to leaving and being parted 
)m the girl he loved with all his passionate young heart. 
: wrote her very often — long, ill-spelt letters in which he 
Id her how constantly he thought of her, and how much 
longed to be back. 

i He was sent here and there until he fell ill with some 
'sterious ailment that kept him in the hospital for 
>nths. He pulled through it with the mute and uncompre- 
dding patience of a dog. He later learned that it was a 
)e of rheumatism which made him unfit to continue his 
vice; his heart exulted, for now he could go home. He 
In't listen or pay attention to what the doctors told him, 
ich was that he would never be quite well again. None of 
s mattered to him, because he was going back to the 
d he loved so well and the girl who was waiting for him. 

As he was being rowed ashore, he saw his mother and 

her standing on the jetty, and his two brothers, big boys 

i «, and he waved to them. His eyes searched the crowd 

1 t waited there for the girl. He couldn't see her 

i iiwhere. There was a great deal of kissing when he 

)t 



jumped up the stairs; and they all, emotional creatures, 
cried a little as they exchanged greetings. "Where's 
Danya?" he asked. 

"Son, I do not know. We haven't seen her; the last 
time she paid us a visit was a month ago!" 

Nathan gave a sigh of exasperation, and boldly stepped 
forward on his way to Danya's house. The day was coming 
to a close; the moon was shining over the placid sea and 
the lights of Naples twinkled in the distance. When he was 
drawing near her home, he saw her and her mother sitting 
on the doorstep. He was shy as he approached them and 
asked, "Didn't you receive my letter that said I was coming 
home?" 

Danya replied, "Yes, I did . . . yes, we did receive the 
letters; we were also informed by one of the island boys 
that you're ill." The girl sat mutely beside her mother, try- 
ing not to meet Nathan's eyes, which were favoring her. 

"Isn't it a piece of luck, I'm back home!" The 
mother's scrutinizing eyes never left Nathan's face. 

"We also know that you'll never be quite well again!" 
she said. 

"You don't believe that nonsense the doctors said; I 
know now that I'm home I'll recover soon!" They were all 
silent for a little while, and then the mother nudged the 
girl. 

Danya didn't try to soften the blow. She told him 
straight out, with the blunt directness of her race, 
"Nathan, I cannot marry you. As a man, you're not strong 
enough to work like one; both my parents and I have made 
our minds up, and anyway, even if I wanted to, my father 
would never give his consent." Nathan had heard enough. 
He bid them goodnight and went home hurriedly, deeply 
distressed. When he arrived, he found out that they all 
knew. 

"Why did you not tell me?" he asked. "We wanted 
you to find out for yourself. Her father had been to us, 
and told us of this decision, and also that it was final," his 
mother said. He ran to her and wept at her bosom. 

He was terribly unhappy but didn't place the blame on 
the girl. He knew that a fisherman's work required strength 
and endurance. Deep down he knew a girl couldn't marry a 
man who might not be able to support her. 

His smile was very sad, and his eyes had the look of a 
beaten dog, but he never complained or said a hard word 
against the girl. 

A few months later, after settling down to the old way 
of life and the common rounds of a fisherman's duty, his 
mother told him, "Son there's a young woman in the vil- 
lage who is willing to marry you; her name is Assunta." He 
replied, "She is as ugly as the devil." The mother fell 



silent. The girl was older than he — twenty-five — and had 
been engaged to a man who, while serving his military 
duty, had been killed in Africa. 

"She said, 'If Nathan is willing to marry me I'll buy 
him a boat and we'll take a vineyard.' Those were her exact 
words." Nathan smiled sweetly at his mother and over his 
shoulder said, "I will think about what you said." 

Dressed in his stiff black clothes, he went up to high 
mass at the parish church. He placed himself in a position 
where he could have a good look at the young woman. He 
came down and said to his mother, "I'm willing." 

They married and settled down in a tiny white-washed 
cottage in the middle of a handsome vineyard. Nathan was 
now a big husky fellow, tall and broad; he still had the 
same ingenuous smile and those trusting eyes that he had as 
a boy. 

Assunta was a grim-visaged female with sharp, decided 
features who looked old for her years. But she had a good 



heart and was nobody's fool. 

Assunta watched her husband, masculine and maste 
ful, with a smile of devotion on her face. She never coir 
bear the girl who had thrown him over, and had nothir 
but harsh words for her. Nathan at times would get i 
ritated but would say nothing. 

Presently Assunta bore two children, both boy 
Sometimes Nathan brought his children down to the beai 
and bathed them. The eldest boy was three and tl 
youngest less than two. Nathan would dip them in tl 
water; the older one bore it with stoicism, but the bal 
screamed lustily. Nathan had extremely large hands th 
looked deadly, but when he bathed his children, holdii 
them so tenderly, drying them with delicate care, they we' 
truly like flowers. He would seat the baby on his hanc 
and hold him up, laughing a little at his smallness, and I, 
laugh was like the laugh of an angel. His eyes, then, v/v. 
as candid as his child's. 



Hanya Radwan 
Third Place, Pro. 
Muse Contest 




I 



PEN AND INK DRAWING 

by Linda Johnson 



JODY'S GIFT 

Elizabeth Love 

I enclose your neck 

between my outstretched palms. 

It sings 

of twilight and horses 

cool wind 

through dying leaves. 

These ancient rhythms surface. 

Infused with October's 
potency, unchallenged, 
you breathe fast hooves 
over shortened days. 

Crushed velvet nightfall 
weaves enchantment. 
Your elusive eyes, 
unbridled, 
transcend the 
cool chestnut fire 
three summers grown. 

Dance me into your autumn dream 
with wood moths in moonlight. 
The cycles that move you 
barely whisper through my world. 




PEN AND INK DRAWING 

by Kim Butler 



THE POT-BELLY STOVE 

by Mimi Haithcox 



Dillie shook me hard. She was hollerin', "Get up outa 

sack! You hear? Get up!" She grabbed hold of my 
)t, gave it a yank, and I fell off my cot, hurting my 
ow. 

I squealed, "Hoo, Dillie! What gives? You come in 
e belchin' like a sow ..." 

She turned on me and spit just like a cat, "It's comin' 
. a storm! A spatin's blowing up, and you ain't finished 
, h the well yet, neither!" Little Julius started cryin'. 
I lie glared at me just a fussin', "Done went and woke up 
: young'un. Get out there 'fore that weather hits!" 

I wrapped the quilt around me and snatched up the 
a beside the doorway. I was almost out the door when 
[ lie started hollerin' again. "Here! Might could use these 
h e!" she bellowed. She threw a greasy paper sack at me. 
I buldn't get my hand up from under the blanket, and the 
s k splattered all over the floor. There were rusty bent 
n s, staples, stripped screws, and headless tacks — none of 
tl n any good for nailing. But I squatted down and 
si Dped up a few. Didn't have too much choice. She was 
s iding over me tappin' her foot and frettin', "Don't you 
It none of them nails fall through the cracks. You hear? 
V tch out! There's one headed for the hole now!" 

She was holdin' the baby, rubbing the back of his big, 
b i head. Julius was almost two years old and didn't have 
a air on his skin. He hadn't grown much, either. Lord, 
a' his eyes was as big and buggy as a horse's. He looked 
li J he was always cryin' 'cause he had this yellow grit in 
h eyes. Dillie would pick that stuff out of his sockets or 
d It's a wonder he could see. She all the time had her 
fi ers in his face. He drooled, too. I was standing in the 
d< rway watching them fine white bubbles come out of the 
ci k in his mouth. They looked like grits. Then Dillie 
b; ;ed, "Whatchya' waitin' for? Go on! Git!" 

The stone slabs had been slipping out of place for a 
w e, and the whole wall was crumbling in the well. The 
re was rotten through, and pieces of tar paper were com- 
in off, plunkin' into the water. And the pulley had been 
lo gone. One year lightnin' struck the well house and 
sp that pulley and crank into boogies of splinters, so we 
to to dippin' with rope by hand. 

I had been workin' on that well for days. Had to fish 
| stones out of the water. Then I had to smooth 'em all 
| md re-stack 'em. It won't so bad, but them rocks was 
to y, an' I couldn't do but a few at a time 'fore I got 
t" . But Dillie wouldn't let up none. She was always 
en r rockin' Julius by the pot-belly stove, or rantin' cause 
In well was crumblin' in, and the water was gettin' 
i ;nat". She would carry on and on. "You ain't done 
ye '"We gonna' sit right here on this hill and die of 



thirstin' 'cause you ain't done yet. I swear if you ain't tee- 
jus," she would say. "Rain is scase. A spatin's gonna' 
blow up and knock the well in, an' yaoway knows when 
we'll get another pourin'." 

It seemed kinda' queer that every time she took to 
preachin' and complainin' she had that Julius in her arms. 
That young'un was as limp on her chest as cured tobacco 
on a stick. But when she started hollering he started howl- 
ing. And she'd squawk, "See what you done? Went an' got 
Ju-Ju goin'!" 

One time she said that I got so fed up with it that I 
told her, "Shut up an' that damn varmit'll shut up!" 

She stared at me with them cow eyes of hers. Her 
voice was hot, and her veins poked out on her head as she 
whined, "He's your nephew, Copie! Your kin! My boy! 
You damn . . ." 

"But he ain't right, Dillie! He's touched," I said. 
"He's near 'bout two years on an' ain't said a blessed 
word! You tied to him all day long while the cows dry up 
'cause ain't nobody been to milk 'em. Done lost two calves 
'cause ain't nobody to help me with the pullin'. Cain't see 
no sense in it. We wastin' away with that thaing." 

She let into me then. She put Julius down on her 
apron, and he just fell into a heap. She looked back at me 
an' said, "He's a whole sight better than you was. He's a 
angel. He ain't near the worry you was! You was the 
jackal's young'un. That's what! You the critter!" I looked 
down at that pile — all them green lines showin' through on 
its head, all them red and yellow streaks on its legs. I 
swung around quick. I was feelin' like 1 had the gut grubs. 

Dillie said, "Where you goin'? That's right. You go 
on, Copie! Helpless, innocent child he is!" 

I was starin' straight on ahead. "Got to fetch a 
chicken for supper," I said. 

Since then it hadn't been much quiet, an' in a way, I 
was kinda' glad that I had to leave the house early that 
morning to work on the well. I knowed it was no use to 
work on it, though. That roof was gonna' go anytime, and 
it had been so dry that if it did rain everything'd turn to 
slosh an' cave in. They won't much I could do, but I 
thought I'd give it a go, and I wound that quilt tight 
around me. 

I started stacking the rocks in a pile and levelled off 
the edges so I could make 'em fit right. 1 put some of them 
nails in the tar paper, but I knowed they wouldn't hold 
that paper still. And most of 'em fell through rotten wood 
and plunked in the water. The wind got up good and 
started tossin' dirt around. That wind was gonna' catch 
hold of that roof an' take it on to Beula Land, and the 
wall was gonna' go. I figured I ought to at least set up 



some rain barrels. Then we'd have some clean water until 
we could dig us a new well. 

There was four or five oak barrels layin' under the 
milking shed, but they won't too good, neither. It had been 
so long since we had rain, an' they hadn't been filled. They 
was as dry as the water hole in the pasture. They would 
have to be filled all the way before they'd even begin to 
swell up — they held thirty-one gallons. I rolled 'em under 
the eaves where they'd catch the run-off from the tin roof. 
The roof really won't tin, 'cause tin don't rust, and the tin 
on the house was as red as the clay in the field. Every other 
time I had put them barrels out an' they finally caught up a 
couple of gallons of water, red and brown specks would be 
settled in the bottom. We had to be sure not to shake it up 
much, or we'd get them red dots all in our teeth when we 
was drinkin'. 1 even put some Martin gourds out in the 
open — anything to catch some water. I couldn't see no 
more to do. We was gonna' have to dig us another well is 
all. 

The dust was flyin' up and borin' into my face, neck, 
hands. And my ears was sore from bein' slapped by the 
wind. I went back in the house. 1 could see blue fat-back 
smoke comin' out of the kitchen. I could smell that old 
raunchy, stinkin' water oak burnin' in the stove. Them two 
smells together clogged up my throat an' made my eyes 
sting. I began to wonder if Dillie left the stove open or 
somethin'. 



I pulled off the quilt an' throwed it back on my c< 
and went to the kitchen. It won't really a kitchen. It w 
just where we sectioned off the stove with blankets so as 
make the place look bigger. That stink was somethin' els 
It smelt like somebody was burnin' pig sty mud. I hollere 
"Dillie! Where you at? You leave the pot-belly open?" a: 
pulled back the 'doorway' blanket. Julius was layin' 
front of the stove, limp as usual, but Dillie was over to o: 
side eyein' that young'un. She was rubbin' her han; 
together just openin' and closin' her mouth without maki 
no sound. She pointed to the rocking chair. It had broki 
its left front leg. I said, "Don't tell me you want me to i 
somethin' else now. What you over there gawkin' at? Hu' 
Hey! Dillie?" 

She broke in on me an' said, "Roll him over, Copk' 
She talked real soft, "He don't move none. He ait 
makin' sense, Copie." I rolled him over. One side of s 
head looked like it had been broiled. Smelt like a scald 
pig. It was the color of fried onions. My mouth come ora 
an' I shot my eyes back up to Dillie. 

She started yellin', "I was rockin' an' the leg bro ! 
That's what! He fell on the stove! You hear what I saj ' 
She kept goin'. 

"He don't move none," I said. And she quieted don. 



Mimi Haithcox 
Second Place, Pn 
Muse Contest 






Jh 



•:v §K ■■-?•. 75 
kfJr 







WEANING THE CALF 

(After A Painting By Winslow Homer) 

Kristin Morris 

The rope the boy pulls . . . 

a symbol of separation: 

loss of security, nurturing, love, 

isolation for the little calf, 

longing for Mother and home. 

The young boy trying to take the place of Mother 

is nothing short of an enemy. 

He still has a Mother. 

The calf will not accept the substitution. 

Knowing this, 

the rope frays . . . 



A WOMAN CALLED SUNSET 
(After A Painting By Eugene Berman) 

Elizabeth Richardson 

Look where we have driven you. 

Cold gray street. A crack in the wall frames the moon. 

Its rays dance on your translucent skin. 

Look at that neck. 

So thin, so white, so soft to the lips and the fingers. 

The tools of your ignored trade lay about your feet. 

Strands of hair, spells, and rodent bones. 

You will pick them up. 

You will use them. 



■•" ■■-'■J-^i :■'•:•?-■*'. -. ■■■'■: •:■ ■ '■■■ .■':-'i'': ■ -.:. 



■V:-A. . u- ..■ 




- 






- . - ■ • 



■ 211 






PENCIL DRAWING 

Z>y Allyson Abbott 



A MATCH SELLER 

(After A Painting By David Gilmour Blythe) 

Elizabeth Love 

Framed in wood and easy lights 

grey eyes compel. 
Drawn across the room 

of still lives and landscapes 
I fidget, guilty 

before this oil on canvas. 
Without hate, without hope 

the Match Seller nourishes her fragile form. 

I wrest my brown 

from her grey sight 
and hide in the flowers 

on my clipboard. 
Who is she 

to bring me to judgment 
one hundred years dead? 

Her defeat is not my choice. 
Silent, apple blanketing the mouth, 

her presence is unrelenting. 

My stomach tightens, 

confirms my recognition. 
I have passed you in the street — 

I did not buy your matches, 
whispers my conviction. 



HIDE AND SEEK 

by Elizabeth Love 



It was three weeks into school and cold even for Cort- 
land, New York. Up on the hill, brick dormitories thrust 
their unsightly shoulders into the sharp moonless night. 
Through the windows beer signs flashed neon, and lights 
made a silhouette of stuffed animals and Jack Daniels' bot- 
tles on the sills. Bass strains from speakers carried through 
the glass panes and this tenuous world spent itself. And the 
motion was swallowed, even as it was witnessed, by an in- 
different Northern countryside. 

Lynn and 1 were in the room, she writing letters, I 
thinking. Jane, our third, had gone to the library to study 
Political Science. This room was all we claimed here, 
designed for two with soft blue walls in a tall clay-red 
building. Crowded by metal bed frames with the window 
facing North, the three of us learned to give mind space 
when physical space was no longer possible. 

Lynn, on the top bunk, rolled from her stomach to her 
back. Long fingers as adept with a paintbrush as with a 
basketball and hockey stick fingered the growing chain of 
beer can flip tops hanging from the cork strip high on the 
wall. 

"I'm going out for a walk, you can come if you 
want." She made it almost a challenge. 

"Well, okay, I'm not doing anything," I said. She was 
getting more brusque as the days moved into weeks. That 
she extended even this rough invitation surprised me. 
Silently we shoved our feet into sneakers, our heads then 
arms into sweatshirts. 

"I've got a key," I said, "You don't have to take 
yours." I wrote a note for Jane on the door. 

I was glad to get out and walk with someone. Usually 
I walked two or three times a week alone and more often 
now, lonely. It became a pattern. My feet would bring me 
to the hill beside the Student Union and I would sit on my 
sweatshirt in the long grass just out of view of the 
sidewalk. Once or twice I brought pen and paper and 
wrote, but more often I would lie back with my hair 
twisted up for a pillow and watch the stars or the clouds 
and the moon. I couldn't bring the ache I felt into the 
room and I would let it leak out of my eyes here. 

"I'm going to the Union to buy a pack of 
Marlboros," Lynn said. 

I was surprised at this defensive declaration. Neither 
she nor I smoke and the subject rarely came up with us. 

"Sure, whatever," I said, feeling that she was looking 
for some sort of an answer. "I didn't know you smoked." 

I never knew if something I said would upset her. 



Through her clouded eyes and set jaw, I saw discord :ttle 
within her like a cold night fog. 

"I did this summer but I quit." 

"Oh." We walked in silence, the wind creeping ider 
cotton sweatshirts, tee shirts and jeans. My feet madnote 
that the mud was crunchy-frozen, and sent my lind 
messages to put on more clothes. My body thoughts a 
wool coat — my fingers, mittens — and my ears, a hat. ,ynn 
bought the Marlboros. 

"Don't tell anyone I smoked tonight. I really on'i 
smoke, you know." 

1 grinned, "How much is it worth to you?" 

Her eyebrows went up, then she smiled. "Than ." 

Outside our legs followed the sidewalk, past m spot 
on the hill and back down towards the dorms agaii The 
wind stung water into my eyes, and shooting a sii long 
glance at Lynn, I saw her brush off the wetness th. her 
hair had spread from cold eyes to a cold cheek. 

"The wind makes you cry too?" I asked. 

"Do you want to sit down here?" Lynn pointc to a 
short flight of cement steps, sheltered by the side f the 
dorm they led to. We sat and for a while watched a roup 
of guys, all drunk, play lacrosse by the meager light lining 
through uncurtained windows. They were in shorts <d tee 
shirts, trampling the stiff grass. The cold of the step slow- 
ly seeped into the flesh on the back of my thighs. 

"You're not happy here either, are you?" 

Lynn's question caught me off guard. "Well, is not 
that bad, but . . ." 

She banged the pack of Marlboros against he right 
hand several times, opened the paper, and took o; two 
cigarettes. 

"You want one?" 

"I haven't in three years." I took the cigarette ttween 
two numb fingers and scraped the head off a matchiefore 
I got it lit. The smoke felt hard and tight going i o my 
chest. 

We talked through cigarette after cigarette Ed the 
moon set behind my head. She hurt, I hurt, and bhoui 
eyes were wet though the wind had stopped. 

"Nobody really knows anybody here," Lynn s:l "" 
I were to die tomorrow it wouldn't make a different You 
don't know me and I don't know you." 

I got up and we walked back to the room. Thiiito" 
between us was surprisingly warm. Jane was b;k an< 
already asleep. When we washed our faces in tepitwater 
the skin came alive and burned with a sudden hea 




PEN AND INK DRAWING 

by Molly Graham 



SAND CASTLES 

Suzanne West 

You begin with a soft 
foundation 
adding more and more 

Trying to build it 
stronger 

Fearing the inevitable 
wave 

will crash 

down 

upon it. 

You move farther 

away 
and start anew. 

But the fresh 

beginning is 

destroyed once more. 

You move 

to still higher 

ground. 



DEBBIE 

by Jacqueline Morris 



I grabbed the first seat on the Trailways bus and set- 

d back in the red tweed chair. Thanksgiving holiday was 

ally here and I looked forward to the ride home. I could 

t wait for the ride to begin so I could gaze out the win- 

w and relax, letting my mind wander from English term 

ners to boys. People filed on the bus, passing me. I 

ped for a minute that a cute young man might sit beside 

. Most of the travelers were soldiers and black women 

i h fat round chocolate babies. I decided to put my 

\ :ketbook on the seat next to mine, hoping no one would 

! 'e to sit beside me. I really just wanted to be alone and 

t be bothered with some tart stranger talking to me all 

t way to Fayetteville. 

I was lost in thought when someone poked my arm. 
"Miss, would you mind if this woman sat beside you? 
I; needs to sit up front," said an obese black woman 
I ding the hand of a creature that looked like an old 
v nan and an eight-year old girl at the same time. Blonde, 
f zy, hair-like crab grass covered her slightly pear-shaped 
h d and at first glance, she looked as if she had no eyes. 
I believing the features I saw, I clutched up my Aigner 
p ketbook and stammered, "Of course, I don't m-mind." 
K dly the black woman said thank-you and helped this 
b ide Puck-like person get situated in the seat beside me. 
7 girl would not look at me. I was paralyzed by snob- 
fa ' and curiosity and, though I was dying to stare at her 
d >rmity, I was terrified to look at or talk to her. I was 
ai angry. All I wanted was a relaxing, quiet trip home 
ai now I had been forced to sit beside the ugliest and 
Bit repulsive thing I'd ever laid eyes on before. I then 
re !zed that about fifteen more deformed and obviously 
bl d men and women were climbing on the bus and feeling 
th ; way to their seats. I heard the black woman telling a 
pi on behind me that she worked with the Governor 
M ehead School for the Blind and these people were going 
h< e for the holidays. My heart chilled and my body grew 
lit y with fear. I opened my Vogue magazine and flipped 
h ugh the pages blindly, like them, as I tried to ignore 
h ook of their sad, sallow faces. But I could not ignore 
h poor thing that was supposed to be a woman sitting 
K le me. Out of the corner of my eye I watched her ad- 
u her seat and take a folded, faded newspaper out of her 
; n 1 overnight bag. She carefully unfolded the paper and 
; P id it out. She turned the pages slowly, as if she was 
* ng every word but the paper was upside down. How 
« r of her, I thought — she is pretending to read that 
>a r as if she could understand each damn word. Then 1 
G :ed how appalling our contrast to each other was. I 
'« iecked out in perfect preppy attire, complete with my 
10 |>add-a-beads dangling around my neck and a brand 
le pair of Sperry topsiders on my feet. She wore a pair of 



worn-out imitation topsiders and looked like a rag o'muf- 
fin — a collage of yellow, brown, and orange dish rags. She 
looked so mangled and pitiful and vulnerable. 

She finished reading the upside down paper and tried 
to fold it back up. Immediately after she had done this, she 
unfolded it and tried to spread it back out again. Her 
breathing was raspy and she started to sigh with frustration 
at her struggle with her paper. I forced the air into my 
lungs and asked her, "Would you like for me to help you 
hold your paper?" 

She looked directly at me. I could not escape the reali- 
ty of her now. She did indeed have eyes. Only those eyes 
had lashless lids that looked like they had been sewn 
together by nature, allowing only a triangle of white to 
peek through. God, her eyes looked like figments of a sur- 
realist painter's imagination. Suddenly, I despised my own 
long black lashes which obscure my vision when I look 
through a microscope in biology lab. The shock of her face 
made my stomach churn. She smiled a toothless impish grin 
and pulled my hand to the edge of the paper. I cringed. 

"My name is Jacquie," I said, screaming "Hypo- 
crite!" to myself as I spoke to her in a sweet polite voice. 

"Hwhi," she grumbled. For a few uncomfortable 
minutes we read the upside down paper together. 1 mar- 
veled again at her cleverness. She knew she looked 
frightful. She knew she was not normal and she also knew 
her right to be recognized and accepted as a person by 
society. 

The bus finally lunged into gear. Oh my God, I 
thought, what if she gets sick from reading in a moving 
bus? I always do. 1 felt like crying. What if she throws up 
on me? I prayed, "Please God, please do not, do not let 
her get sick!" 

Her puckish body suddenly jerked. I practically leapt 
out of my seat and into the bus driver's lap. She sneezed 
four hard times. Shaking, I asked her, "Are you feeling 
alright?" 

"No, whi don't feel so good." 

Oh Lord, she doesn't feel so good. I asked, "Do you 
have a cold?" 

"Yeah, whi'd got a cold," she answered, her words 
barely comprehensible. I felt as helpless as she looked, 
hating myself for wanting to get the hell off that bus. 

To my horror, she suddenly put her head on my shoul- 
der and began to sniffle and whimper. I felt my heart 
bursting as I found myself putting my arms around her. 
She felt fragile like a sick baby chick. She snuggled up to 
me. I noticed a tag pinned to her coat. I think I really did 
expect to see written on it, "Please look after this bear." 
But what it actually said was: HI, MY NAME IS DEBBIE. 
I LIVE AT THE GOVERNOR MOREHEAD SCHOOL. 



What was Thanksgiving going to be for this little Pad- 
dington Bear? "Debbie, just go to sleep. I'll wake you 
when we get to Fayetteville," I gently said, stroking her 
hair. I cradled her in my arms and let my mind wander like 
I'd planned. Only I fantasized that my father was a plastic 
surgeon who could separate those lids and reshape her eyes 
so they could open and close normally. I would teach her 
how to talk clearly instead of garble. I would buy her pret- 
ty clothes and read Jane Eyre to her. I would nurse this 
baby chick to health and make the life I thought she de- 
served possible. 

I looked out the window at the gorgeous scene of red, 
orange and yellow-splattered trees, overlapping each other 
against a backdrop of grey clouds, rain pouring from them 
in giant slabs. I longed to describe what I saw to her. What 
did she see? I guessed that she might only see white 
through the triangular opening of her eyes. How sad her 
life must be. Obviously she was from a poor family. She 
would never experience the love of a man or ever have a 
family of her own. 

She slept until we arrived at Fort Bragg. Another 
young man from the school asked me when we would ar- 
rive in Fayetteville. I cheerfully said, "In about fifteen 
minutes!" I felt triumphant that I had seen past his scruffy 
pound-dog appearance and had answered as if to a normal 



! 



person. 

Debbie stirred. Her shoe had come untied. The imi- 
tion leather laces were worn so thin that I feared she wo.d 
break them as she pulled on them, frantically tryingo 
form a bow. The laces slipped through her tiny fingers a if 
they were made of butter. I agonized over whether I shcld 
try to help her. I did not want to offend her by patroniiig 
her. I let two more minutes pass, then asked her, "Debe, 
may I help you?" 

Relieved, she lifted her foot up to me and I tied a lat 
bow. 

"Whi have trouble tying ma shoes," she said hapiy. 

"So do I! Does that feel ok?" I asked. 

"Yeah. Ma pa's taking me to MacDonald's. Wlm 
hongry!" she giggled. 

"Are you excited about going home?" 

"Yeah, I mish ma pa real bad." 

As the bus pulled into the station she seemed to fc;et 
me in her excitement. She grabbed her small bag nd 
hopped off the bus before I could say good-bye. I folic ed 
behind her, hoping to catch her but she had already I en 
swept into the arms of her father. He hugged her tiglly, 
ignoring the rain. He had soft round eyes from which urs 
spilled as he kissed her forehead and soft blond hair. "ien 
he whisked her away in the rain. 




PEN AND INK DRAWING 

by Jacqueline Morris 



$ 






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111 |fi «*C- 



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* * * « 






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,/' 



PENCIL DRAWING 



6y Carol Shellhorn 







PENCIL DRAWING 

by Karen Melton 



TWO HOUR LAYOVER IN SYRACUSE BUS STATION 

Elizabeth Love 

Leg warmers and Timberlands . . . 
I shift the pack 
side 
to 
side — wary. 
A greasy coat with 
emaciated eyes 
sightless fingers rotting 
on a cigar follow 
the high heeled hips 
made up tight 

in 
red lipstick. 

step — sway 

step — sway 

step — sway . . . 

North side 

bus number 20537 for 
Cortland, Ithaca, Elmira . . . 
I exit purposefully — 

avoid a quaalude stare . . . 
city cold tickles through 
worn sweats . . . 
number 20537 

breathes steadily 
inhales 

Nike bags 

down coats 

wool hats. 



THE FUNERAL 

by Kara! Kirkman 



The day began as any other. Mary Lynn, a small 
blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl called my house and asked if I 
could go out and play. 

"Sure," I said. I slid out of bed and put on a pair of 
Levis and a football jersey. 

Mary Lynn and I met outside in front of my house. 

"I've already called Leanne and she wants us to go to 
her house," began Mary Lynn. 

"Sounds fine, maybe we can get up a game of foot- 
ball," I said. 

We walked along the road kicking a can around like a 
soccer ball. The sun was out and the air was extremely 
warm for nine in the morning. We passed Sandy's house 
but Mary Lynn had said before that Sandy was sick and 
could not come out. It would be different playing without 
Sandy. She was a year older, but she was still one of us. 

We rounded the corner and walked into Leanne's yard. 
1 left the can on the side of the road. 

"Hey ya'll," yelled Leanne from the front door. She 
bounded down the front steps and walked with us to the 
back yard. 

"What do you two want to do?" asked Leanne. 

"Doesn't matter to me," I said. 

"Me neither," said Mary Lynn, "1 just don't want to 
build a fort." 

Leanne and I were more tomboyish than Mary Lynn. 
She liked to talk on the phone a lot too, especially when 
Leanne and I wanted to play football. 

"Okay, we'll play in Bobby and Greg's fort," said 
Leanne. 

We went across the ditch and into a little shack. It was 
watertight and very safe. Since we were girls, we were only 
allowed on the first two floors. The top floor was for 
members of the club. It was sort of like a mini fraternity; 
the boys had to do weird stuff for about a week to get in. 

"Hey, Leanne, what's that man doin'?" I asked. 

"I'm not sure," she said. 

By this time we were all standing at the window look- 
ing at the two men in the graveyard. 

"It looks like they're drinking," I said. 

"I guess so — but why in the graveyard?" asked Mary 
Lynn. 

"I don't know, but I want to find out," I said. 

Everyone followed me outside and over the fence. 
There we stood, an entire neighborhood. About ten little 
white kids, facing these two black men. 

"What are you doin'?" I asked. 

"We're diggin' a grave," the larger of the two men 
said. 

"Who's it for?" I asked. 

"You wouldn't know him," said the little one. 



"Well, we might want to come to the funeral," laid, 

"It's at one o'clock this afternoon," said the bijone. 

We were satisfied. I guessed there would be bs of 
people and they wouldn't mind if we watched. Nobodsaid 
much as we walked through the graveyard with theilem 
stones watching us. We crossed the fence and all m;ched 
into the fort. 

Bobby, one of the oldest boys, took over ani told 
everyone that had not heard what we were going to c. He 
was a lot like Leanne; he had curly brown hair an was 
built really small. 

"Since it is a funeral, we should wash our fao and 
hands so we don't all look like silly little kids," he aid. 

"And I think the boys have decided not to let tl girls 
go," he said in a very authoritative way. 

"We will too go," Leanne shrieked. 

"Yeah, the funeral has nothing to do with the cb,"I 
said. 

"Right, it's an outside activity," Mary Lynn umed 
in. 

"Well, I don't think you should go. What if fight 
breaks out and one of you gets killed or something? Bob- 
by dramatized. 

"Golly gee Beaver, what'd ya have to go anday a 
goofy thing like that for?" I said. 

"Maybe I'm silly, but I'm still the oldest," jobby 
replied with a smile that showed all his teeth. 

"We'll see who goes," Leanne said. 

We girls marched out of the fort and across thriiich. 

"I'm kinda thirsty," Leanne complained. 

"And I'm hungry," Mary Lynn said. Then agai.Mary 
Lynn was always hungry. She was a little chubby a/way. 

We all split up for our houses where we wod eat 
lunch and get ready for the funeral. The minutes pa ed by 
slowly and I constantly asked the time. That withi itself 
was rare, because time never concerned me. Finsy the 
phone rang and it was Leanne. 

"Are you ready?" she asked. 

"Sure, I'm on my way," I said. 

Mary Lynn was waiting for me outside again, t first 
we did not say anything, but finally Mary Lynn spi;e up 

"Are you nervous?" she asked. 

"Nope, it's just a funeral," I said. 

"Well, I don't like it. It gives me the willie" sh(- 
said, shrugging her shoulders. 

Leanne was out in the street with her dog, Bridy. 

"Let's go," she said. 

We three girls marched proudly over to the f."t Ml 
crossed through the door. 

"We're goin'," Leanne stated. 

"Fine," the boys said. 



Much to our surprise we did not go to the graveyard at 

We just stood on the opposite side of the ditch and 
red over. There was not a lot to see, just a big tent, 
■pie and cars. Everything looked black. 

Being the littlest, I had the worst time seeing. There 
e even boys in the pine trees looking across. Since I was 
e I thought maybe no one would notice me if 1 went 
r. So I ducked under a few people and crossed the 
:h. The tent that I could hardly see before was quite 
;e. A fat black lady and some other black people were 
ng under it. All the ladies wore hats and gloves, even 

ones that did not sit under the tent. I spotted an extra 
ir so I sat in it. The people just watched me. There was 
i a man in a black robe throwing ashes around and talk- 
but kind of singing too. That did it! The fat lady 

ped up and started singing. 

' "Ole Lord, he took his last step," she cried. Then 
I yone started clapping and singing. 
■' 1 felt very uncomfortable and sort of sick. The next 
; g I remember was the big black Limo taking the family 
ny. I guess I passed out for awhile. 

The two grave diggers, a few of the man's friends, and 

;re there. Of course the rest of the neighborhood was 
i the other side of the ditch. Slowly 1 stood up and 
/ced over to the men that were going to bury him. 

"I still don't know this man," I said. 

"May I see him?" I asked after awhile. 

The two men were floored by my question. Somehow I 
E k they understood, though. 

"Sure," the little one spoke up. 

The two men opened the lid and there he was. He had 
i l e hair and a very nice suit on. 

"What happened to him?" 1 asked. 

"Got his neck broke," the big man said. 
! "Oh," I answered. 

They closed the lid and I turned around to the group 
>|-iends that sat there opened-mouthed and gaping at me. 

"Well, aren't you going to say anything?" asked Bob- 
>5 

"1 prayed for him," 1 said. 

"She's losin' touch," Mary Lynn said as she watched 
n';ross the ditch. 

"I'm goin' home for awhile. See ya'll later," I sput- 
m out as I walked through Leanne's yard. 

The walk home made me extremely tired, which was 
ti'ige because I never got sleepy during the day. 

When I got inside 1 asked Mother to make me a cup of 
fc.ian tea and I told her that I was going to lie down. Of 
:o ;e she got suspicious and immediately felt my 
o lead. 

;"Are you sick?" she asked. 
'No, just tired," I said. "Mother, I went to a funeral 
Bfi'i" I told her in a slow calm voice. 
'You what?" she asked excitedly. 
'I went to a black man's funeral in the graveyard 
oeid Leanne's house," I explained. 

' 'Whose was it?" she asked. 
'I don't know, but he would have probably been very 
hk if I had met him," I answered. 

'I better make that two cups of tea and I think I'll lie 
Jo 1 with you," Mother said. 



And she did. We fell asleep and my day ended until 
Daddy came home at five. I told the story over again at 
supper except with more dramatization this time. My 
parents just sat there like the gang had done earlier and 
watched me make my exit into the den to watch television. 

"Strange child," Daddy stated. 

"I agree," Mother complied. 




PENCIL DRAWING 

by Tomoko Asarni 




by Christine Trask 




by Lee Hanes Moore 
Honorable Mention, Art 



Stories, if they are good, are like pieces of life chiseled out of 
time, but they are also in time, flowing onward somewhere even when 
we cannot follow them. They are not less windows through which 
we can look, doors through which we can walk. Whenever we choose 
to marvel that life could be thus, then we have begun to read. 



Anna Wooten-Hawkins 



Saint Mary's College 

Muse Editor 
Assistant Editor 
Editorial Staff 



Carleton Anne Maury 

Sandra Jackson 

Joe Lee Credle 
Eve Heslin 
Kristin Master 
Lee Hanes Moore 
Havalan Sealy 



Muse Advisor 



Anna Wooten-Hawkins 



Muse Consultant 



Ellen Few Anderson 



Muse Contest 



Art Judge 
Poetry Judge 
Prose Judge 



Margot Richter 
Shirley Moody 
Whitmel Joyner 



With special thanks to the writers who read their 
works in the Muse Week Festival: 

Peter Makuck 
David Payne 
Shirley Moody 



*Cover Art by Kristin Roberts 



Printed by Chamblee Graphics 

2405 Alwin Court. Raleigh, North Carolina 27629 



©THE MUSE, 1985 



HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE 

Lee Hanes Moore 

On grandmother's sandwiches there was always homemade mayonnaise, 

Reminiscence of the old days — starched white collars, 

Stability, 

And the harmony of tradition. 

Every woman had her place, 

Chaperoned until marriage. Then 

The certain betrothal, 

With the bride draped in white, the color of homemade mayonnaise. 

The men imprisoned them; 

It's all forgotten now, 

But it happened, they locked them away. 

A woman dressed to the ankles, 

Marching in the cutting cold — 

Not at home, making homemade mayonnaise, 

But holding signs, demanding her rights. 

Now that we have opportunities, 
She pleads with us to take them. 
We have all we need, so we turn away 
And forget her. 

We have no conception 

Of the life sentence of a wood stove. 

Stern eyes of the past slung over a washboard 

Wanting us to be every thing they could not. 

Not to drink tea in delicate gazebos, 
Talking of children and family ties. 
But to live in the world they fought for. 



Honorable Mention, Poetry 
Muse Contest 




by Mary Lisa Newman 



THE FISHERMEN 

Sandra F. Jackson 

Young men 

Dancing with empty nets — 

Those gauzy veils and bridal gowns 

Wedding them to life on the sea. 

Sun rises, 

Sparkles on the blue expanse. 

In unison, 

Floating on an uneven floor of water, 

They sway to the music of the ocean. 

In shady gray 

Men dance at daybreak, 

Lift and dip their wives, 

The lovely ghosts of women 

In the sea, 

To catch what they may. 



GREAT ORMEW HEAD, NEAR LIVERPOOL 

(After A Painting By Robert Salmon) 

Amy Scolt 

The sky was black and gray, 
The water below rough as gravel, 
The rocks surrounding the water 
many sizes larger than the ships. 

Two ships and a shipwreck. 
The largest ship resting 
against an olive green rock. 
The lines on the sail 
like tangled telephone wires. 

Behind the ship, 

a man holding a hoe, 

who had come down from the field above. 

To the right of this ship, 

Rocks scattered on the shore 

like a broken puzzle. 

On the sand a 

mangled masthead, strewn with seaweed 

like moss. 

Another ship's sail, 
wrinkled like a sheet 
on an unmade bed. 

Lying beside this boat, 

a sheeted man, 

resting with the caught fish. 

In the center of the turbulent water, 

a single boat 

with a crew of men 

working diligently 

to restore Disaster. 



First Place, Poetry 
Muse Contest 



EYES 

Carleton Anne Maury 

Bright jade-green, 

they spend hours drinking blends 

of pale green, turquoise and 

navy blue seas. 

At night, tired and dreamy, 

they imagine and play with 

the tiny white specks dancing 

against the dull, black sky. 



HER EYES 

Martha Fairer 

Her eyes are a gray turquoise that burst 

like sunlight reflected off a blue mountain 

lake in mid-morning. 

They seem frozen in time, 

as if God shouted Stop! 

before the full splendour unfolded. 

They seem sharp 

yet smoothed over, 

immobile in white ice. 

Deep within the black onyx, I am led to a young 

Indian lady 

standing silently 

on a porch high, high in the snow-covered mountains. 

A shephard calls in the distance to his sheep. 

His voice shatters the silence that prevails. 

Peace covers the peaks like a blanket. 



... 



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CHARCOAL DRAWING 

by Lea Schwartz 
First Place, Art 



A cheetah is speedy, a little bit of God, 
strung in the sinews like a harp. . . 



-From "Animals" 
Anna Wooten-Hawkins 



ST. MARY'S 

(A Parody of Allen Ginsberg's "America") 

Jean Hagan 

St. Mary's it's killing me to be something. 

St. Mary's two hundred dollars and ninety-seven cents on October 4, 1984. 

I can't stand my own roommates. 

St. Mary's is the world going to war? 

Go drown yourself and don't forget the sign-out cards. 

I don't feel like going to class don't make me. 

1 won't start my paper until I'm in the mood. 

St. Mary's when will you be sympathetic? 

When will you stop looking disappointed? 

When will you look at yourself through my eyes? 

When will you be worthy of your spirit? 

St. Mary's why are your halls full of tears and unbudgeted time? 

I'm sick of your insane conventions. 

When can I be rebellious and not feel guilty about it? 

St. Mary's after all it's you who will mold me not the world. 

Your rules are too much for me. 

You want me to be stagnant. 

There must be a way to compromise. 

The punk is at Sadlacks I don't think she'll come back, it's for the good of 

the school. 

Is it for the good of the school or is this a practical joke? 

I can't make my point anymore. 

But I won't give up my thoughts. 

St. Mary's stop pushing me I think I know what I'm doing. 

St. Mary's show me the way. 

I haven't read my campus mail in days, it never says anything important or 

that I don't already know. 
St. Mary's I feel sentimental about The Circle. 
St. Mary's I used to be unappreciative as a kid and I'm not sorry. 
I drink a beer every chance I get. 

I sit in my room for hours and stare at all the books on my desk. 
When I go to parties I try to smile and am never nice. 
My mind is made up there is something wrong. 
You should have seen me listening to hard core punk-rock music. 
My best friend agrees with me about you. 
No, I won't tell you how much money my father makes! 
I have some intelligent ideas and great dreams. 

St. Mary's have I told you what you've done to some of your girls during 
exam time? 

I'm pleading with you. 

Are you going to allow my life to revolve around the cafeteria? 

I'm obsessed with the food I never eat. 

I'm there every meal. 

The cafeteria haunts me every time I creep up to my empty mailbox. 

Dinner is the social event. 

Everyone is talking about someone else. 

The test tomorrow is serious, I have to be serious it's my future. 
It occurs to me that I am St. Mary's. 
But the teachers are all against me. 
I haven't got a chance in hell. 
I'd better consider my intellectual resources. 
My intellectual resources consist of hours of procrastination, five cups of 

coffee, and an intelligent capable mind that only works well under 

pressure. 



I say nothing about my hangups nor the criticism that lies under my attitude. 
I have abolished the constant fashion show of the college, and the highschool 

is the next to go. 
My ambition is to be in at least one club, despite the fact that no one knows me. 
St. Mary's how can I write a list of sacred grievances when you won't listen? 
St. Mary's listen to me. 
St. Mary's save the confused. 

St. Mary's Wednesday morning chapel must not die. 
St. Mary's I am the chapel cutter. 
St. Mary's you really don't want me to feel alone. 
St. Mary's it's them rich preppies. 
Them preppies them preppies everyone looks the same. 
The administration wants to eat us alive. They need to read my ethics book. 

All my books hate me. They want to make me conventional. 

Make me somebody's wife. No! Somebody's profession. 
St. Mary's this is quite serious. 

St. Mary's this is the impression I get from your standards. 
St. Mary's could I be wrong? 
I'd better start working. 
It's true I don't want to be a Cold Cut or make Phi Theta Kappa, 

1 can't sing and I'm slack anyway. 
St. Mary's I'm wearing your ring and it means more to me than even you will 

ever know. 
St. Mary's I'm putting my odd talents at your disposal and my lazy shoulder 

to the wheel. 



Honorable Mention, Poetry 
Muse Contest 




PHOTOGRAPH 

by Julie Gray 




PHOTOGRAPH 



Jo Lee Credle 
Second Place, Art 



YOU WERE WEARING 

Annie Cray Sprunt 

You were wearing your Nelson Rockerfeller printed silk 

jacket. 
In each divided up square of the jacket was a picture of 

Nelson Rockerfeller. 
Your hair was silver and you were stunning. You asked 

me, "Does everyone live this well?" 
I smelled the aroma of your French Riviera resort bedroom 

held in place by a Jackie Onassis hairclip. 
"No," I said, "only the few chosen elite." Then we were 

chauffeured home in my Rolls Royce together. 
We later frolicked on the veranda, so that your Pierre 

DuPont, King of Good Graces, mink was torn. 

Grand-ma-ma was listening to Bach in the parlor, a 

Richard Prosser Mellon comb in her hair. 
We waited for a time and then joined her, only to be 

served Dom Perignon in goblets painted with 

pictures of Howard Hughes, 
As well as with illustrated information of the current 

stock market trend and horse race scoop. 
Father came in wearing his William Randolph Hearst, Jr. 

necktie: "How about some caviar, everyone?" 
I said, "Let's go on the terrace for a while." Then we 

went outside and lounged in the Nelson Hunt gazebo. 
On the estate across the iron gate we saw a yardman raking 

leaves piled in the likeness of the mystery 

money-man, Robert Lee Vesco. 



Honorable Mention, Poetry 
Muse Contest 



KID 

by Ashley Beirig 



Dawn came suddenly, and with it the heat. An 
uncomfortable night had metamorphosed into an unbearably 
humid morning. It was only nine o'clock, and already the 
faded cotton dress Ruth wore clung to her back, a second skin 
of calico. Beads of perspiration crept down her round, ebony 
face, and periodically she would set down her weaving, pick 
up the red and green bandana that lay beside her chair, and 
mop her shining face. She had come early today. During the 
long Carolina tourist season, Ruth knew that the difference 
between a good day and a bad day depended solely on how 
visible her "spot" was. The Charleston Marketplace, open at 
sight o'clock, could fill up *by eight-fifteen on a July 
Saturday; visitors to the city were unusually eager to bring 
tome "authentic Charleston stuff." Such "stuff" was never 
romplete without a hand woven basket. 

Ruth sat on the sidewalk of the market, attempting to 
avoid the heat by concentrating on her basketweaving and 
jutting off the moment when the scorching sun would force 
ler to pick up her chair and her basket display and move 
nside. She knew her wares were more visible, their subtle 
patterns more arresting, in the bright morning sunshine than 
hey would be in the shaded open-air pavillion. Besides, being 
lutside gave her the added opportunity to be noticed by the 
lassengers on the horse and carriage tours that occasionally 
trove by her spot. Ruth estimated that about one quarter of 
ler morning business came from the passers-by who noticed 
ler handiwork. As a young girl, Ruth had managed to stay 
mtside longer than any other basket woman, never stopping 
o step into the cool pavillion. Now Ruth's outdoor time was 
imited to a few hours at most, because direct sunshine made 
.er faint and dizzy. 

Today she had stopped to rest for a moment — these 
ays her eyes stung and her hands ached after an hour or two 
if work — when a shrill screech in her left ear made her start. 
\s she turned sharply around to see who had made such a 
ude noise, the half-finished basket slid off Ruth's ample lap. 
'ollowing instinct, she quickly bent over to retrieve her fallen 
■ork and upset the plywood display stand next to her chair, 
he muttered a mild curse under her breath and sat back to 
jrvey the damage. Baskets were scattered within a ten-foot 
idius of her chair, along with palm fibers and her plywood 
and. Ruth sighed and heaved herself out of her seat. She 
ingerly peeled her sweat-soaked dress from her sticky thighs, 
arefully avoiding the sensitive heat rash, and knelt to retrieve 
ie spilled wares. Had Ruth seen the culprit who had 
leeched earlier, she would not have been so surprised when 
slender young white boy darted in front of her. 

Ruth's first impression of the child was that he was a 
xless sprite. She caught her breath, remembering the stories 
"fairy chillun" her Mam used to tell her when Ruth was 
>ung and had grown bored with the hot, tedious job of 
'^tmertime basketweaving. "Ruthie," Mam would ask, her 
rarp eyes never straying from the embryonic basket in her 



lap, "is you getting wearied?" Though Ruth would not ever 
admit fatigue, Mam always knew the exact moment when 
Ruth's thoughts strayed from the baskets to a cool bottle of 
limeade, or when natural shifts of position to relieve a 
cramped back or a bout of "pincushion foot" became fidgets 
brought on by heat and boredom. "Well, Sugar," Mam 
would say, "I know dis here work ain' easy, but it's good 
money. Now, if you set still and gits about yo' work, l's 
gonna tell you a tale." 

"Bout what, Mam?" Mam's tales always brought a 
sparkle to Ruth's eyes, lifted her spirits, and kept her mind 
off the heat. If the tale was extra exciting, even the prospect 
of an icy limeade wouldn't drag her mind off of it. 

"Well, chile o'mine. . ." Mam would begin, in the deep, 
rich Gullah accent a child could settle back and get 
comfortable in. Sometimes the tales were of the once-upon-a- 
time variety, but more often they would be colorful stories of 
the South Carolina Low-country. Once in a while, Mam 
would sink into a real story-telling mood and talk about Plat 
Eye. "Plat Eye," she would begin, her usually sharp, clear 
eyes becoming unreadable and opaque as they always did 
when she spun her yarns, "is the Devil's spawn. He a ugly ole 
critter, an' he evil. Badness live in him, an' he live in badness. 
They was made fo' one another, mebbe even wifs one 
another. Now Plat Eye, he like nothin' better than the taste of 
young meat, an' he ain' afeared to go crawlin' fo' it. 

"Plat Eye, he long. . .oh, 'bout a mile o'him sometime. 
But he ain' alius the same lenth. 01' Plat Eye, he can be jus' 
'bout anythin' he want to be. Most time though, he a big 
slimy ol' wormy thing. No foots has Plat Eye got. No, he jus' 
crawl like a snake. He look like a snake, too - scales, an' toofs 
like a wile sow. But like I says, Plat Eye ain' alius what he 
seem. He can change. You seen them speckeldy lights 'bove 
the bog nights? Black nights, min' you, when there ain' no 
moon? How they twist an' bust like soapy bubbles an' gets 
longer an' longer 'till they like to split, then sorta fades away? 
Nebber stare too long at them lights, chile o'mine — " Here 
Mam would pause dramatically, sometimes darkly glancing 
up from her weaving, " — 'cause they is Plat Eye. He be 
trying' to beckon th' evil chillun to th' bog, th' ones who sass 
they Mams and' don' work like they's suppose to. He 
hypnotize 'em and' beckons 'em to him an' then. . ." another 
unbearable pause. . ."he eats 'em." 

But Mam didn't often tell tales about Plat Eye, because 
by the time she had finished, Ruth was usually agape, 
enthralled by the stories of the monster in the Low-country 
swamps. As she grew older and began school, Ruth's teacher, 
disturbed by the children's "superstitious nonsense" about 
Plat Eye, told Ruth's whole class that Plat Eye was just a 
threat some ignorant, harassed mother made up a long time 
ago to gain a moment's peace from naughty children. She 
never could, however, quite convince Ruth, who sometimes 
heard, while in bed, slimy wet noises from the swamps on 



moonless nights and shivered, despite the stifling heat. Mam's 
tales were always convincing to the point of being 
disconcerting. 

One time when Mam had just finished a Plat Eye tale, 
Ruth sat back and thought for a moment, troubled. "Mam" 
she finally ventured, slowly and cautiously, for Mam did not 
cotton to questions most of the time, "do Plat Eye ever get 
any chillun who ain't evil?" 

Mam looked sharply at Ruth and set down her weaving. 
Immediately, Ruth tensed; Mam never put down her 
unfinished basket unless it was time to go, time to lunch, or 
time to move into the pavillion. There was a long moment of 
silence between mother and daughter as Mam stared at Ruth. 
Then she spoke. 

"Ruthie, you is amazin' me. How can sech a chile as you 
have sech smarts?" Mam gave a short snort of laughter, but it 
wasn't the deep, good laughter that normally bubbled from 
Mam's lips. Then she looked Ruth squarely in the eye and 
admitted, "Yes, Sugar. Plat Eye, he ain' that choosy 'bout 
what he eat so long as it's young an' tasty. But the difference 
between what happen to a good chile an' a bad chile when he 
get et is that a bad chile'll jus' set there in ol' Plat Eye's belly 
and melt away. But good chillun — now they's a different 
story. Good chillun gots themselves strong souls. An' when 
Plat Eye get his claws in them, they jus' rise 'bove it. After 
Plat Eye done suck the life outen them, they becomes. . .well, 
they. . ." 

Ruth had never before seen Mam at a loss for words, and 
she watched, liquid brown eyes wide, as Mam fumbled with 
her tale. 

". . .they becomes sorta earthbound angels. 'Ceptin they 
can't fly. They's just like reg'lar chilluns, 'cept for they only 
comes at night. An' they glow red. They stay on the bog 
banks, an' theys purport is a good un. They try to stop other 
good chillun from wandrin' into the bog at nightfall after 
coons an' fireburgs an' sech all, an' into Plat Eye's jaws." 
Here Mam paused, not for effect, but rather reflectively. Her 
weaving still lay slack in her lap, and she made no move to 
resume working on it. A soft sigh escaped her then. "Them 
red fairy chilluns is the only thing a body c'n trust on the bog, 
come nightfall," she said softly, almost to herself. Then, 
abruptly, she picked up her unfinished basket and began to 
weave. Ruth asked no more questions that day, but gradually 
Mam began to tell fewer stories of Plat Eye and more of the 
"fairy chillun," which gave Ruth comfort at night. 

Now, as she stared at the boy in front of her who was 
speedily gathering up her spilled wares, casting occasional 
apologetic glances at her, she thought of all those tales Mam 
had told her long ago. This child fit every image she had ever 
had of the fairy chillun. His hair, an unruly shock of copper, 
shone in the hot mid-morning sun, an oasis of color amid the 
greenish brown baskets that surrounded it. Large green eyes 
ate up his whole face now; they were fringed with eyelashes 
the same color as his hair. It was the child's eyes that struck 
Ruth — those eyes did not seem to belong to a child. 

Before Ruth had finished wondering about the boy's 
eyes, he had set the plywood display rack back up and was 
carefully arranging the baskets on it. She let common sense 
take over since, looking around, she noticed that the little 
mishap had drawn quite a few stares. "Standin' up in this 
heat and starin' at a chile ain't gonna make 'em stop," she 
thought. She silently began to collect baskets off the pile the 
boy had made and to remount them, careful to balance each 



just right so as not to upset the stand again. Soon the sti.d 
looked as it had before the accident. Ruth straightened j, 
bracing her painful back in her hands, and surveyed the J3. 
She nodded, satisfied. 

"Well, chile," she began, but when she turned to he 
the red-headed boy to thank him for his generous help, he 'as 
gone. 

It was another full month, at least, before Ruth saw ie 
boy again. July had melted into August, and Charlesin 
flourished like a hothouse blossom that favored r;h 
temperature and humidity. The sun was now less scorchig; 
however, the intense humidity made even the most sirr le 
exercise a chore. Breathing was like inhaling damp cottn. 
Longtime Charlestonians, who knew that August as 
traditionally the month to temporarily give up their city Dr 
the refreshing ocean breezes, began their yearly retreaito 
Sullivan's Island. Tourists, on the other hand, remai;d 
undaunted by the nearly impossible humidity, though e:n 
the most stoical were overheard grumbling about ho\ it 
might be easier to breathe water. The steady streamat 
tourists showed no signs of diminishing. 

Ruth had staked out her usual place, and sat alternaly 
weaving and grinning at tourists and passers-by. She kuw 
that a positive, friendly attitude was most important to ss:s. 
In the past weeks she had occasionally put down her weang 
and searched the sea of children's faces that bobbed id 
swam before her, knee-level to the adults, to look for he 
boy. She encountered chocolate grins, spiky, unique hairc:s, 
and even a few redheaded children, but never the same spsh 
of burnished copper or the same hazel eyes. Ruth had nier 
forgotten those preternaturally wise, wide eyes, and he 
found herself often thinking of them. Today, though, er 
mind was on nothing but weaving and sales. Perhaps th; is 
why the boy came. Ruth had long ago found that the dtre 
least dwelt upon is often the desire that is one day fulfill 

Leisurely weaving, Ruth contemplated moving intohe 
pavillion. It was nearing one o'clock, and the heat as 
making her feel dizzy. As she toyed with the idea, she noted 
out of the corner of her eye a small figure looking overhe 
baskets she had on display. She set the weaving carefullpn 
her lap and looked up, the obligatory tourist grin on her f:e, 
and there he was. He squinted down at her and cockediis 
copper head, looking remarkably older than he was. F th 
stared at him, surprised. After a long, silent moment, theoy 
spoke. 

"Hullo," he ventured. 

"Hey there, chile," said Ruth kindly. "Ain't youhe 
chile help ol' Ruth pick up baskets that day?" There wano 
doubt in Ruth's mind that this was that same child, bi it 
seemed the correct thing to say. 

"Yes'm," the boy answered, his eyes never leang 
Ruth's face. 

"So, chile, what's your name?" 

The boy looked abashed. "Well, I got named after hp. 
But call me Kid. Most everybody does." 

Ruth was thoughtful. "Kid," she mused. "It suits m, 
but not near 'nuff like a good name should. I'm gonnaall 
you Skinny — 'least 'til you get some mo' meat on them bies 
a yours." 

The child nodded solemnly. "That's a good name, im 
skinny. 'Most everbody tells me so. I guess I like Skny 
better'n Kid any day." 

Ruth smiled, a broad, open smile with a depth thatvas 



■bestowed upon no tourist. "Okay, then. An' how old are 
;you?" 

3 "I'm almost ten." He grinned to reveal missing front 
teeth. 

"Um, puny, but you got the marks to prove youse ten." 
I "Yes'm," the child said unnecessarily, and grinned 
again. He looks like a chile, at least when he smile so wide, 
Ruth thought. Mebbe he is a chile, really. 

"Watcha lookin' at? An what's your name?" he asked 
politely. Ruth realized she had been scrutinizing the child's 
:face. 

"Nothing'. Call me Ruth." 
"Yes ma'am, Ruth, C'n I sit down?" 
After that day, the boy came often. He would sit beside 
iRuth and watch her weave, and Ruth would tell him the tales 
:ier Mam had once told her. Sometimes they would just sit in 
silence, listening to the summer slip away. Ruth discovered 
hat he had no friends his age. In his words, "They are all just 
itupid and don't understand." When Ruth asked exactly 
rvhat they didn't understand, he just looked at her with his 
iged eyes and shrugged. Ruth thought she knew. 

On a day in late August, the boy showed up, his eyes red 
ind swollen. Ruth was disturbed, but she knew that coaxing 
only made him close up tight, like an oyster hanging on to a 
siearl. Sure enough, he told her what was the matter after a 
:ew moments of superficial conversation. 

"Ruth," he began in a thick, low voice, "I saw a cat 

joday. I've seen it before. I sometimes fed it stuff." He wiped 

lis nose on the back of his hand and continued. "It was 

mashed all over Broad Street. The man didn't even stop." 

: 'le choked on his last words and struggled valiantly to hold 

: rack his tears, angrily swiping at his eyes. Ruth set her basket 

n the ground beside the fold-up wooden chair she sat on and 

estured for him to come into her lap. Gratefully, he crept 

no the comforting lap and buried his face in Ruth's broad 

Yioulder. Ruth did not try to explain away death or the 

I :hild's natural pain, but simply patted his back until he 

popped shaking. She did not notice, and if she had, would 

ot have cared about the many staring people on the street. 

: :he only felt his sorrow and anger at the unfairness of life. 

:'is sobs grew softer after a moment or two. When he had 

.'pmpletely stopped crying, he struggled out of Ruth's lap. He 

«oked at the ground, uncharacteristically sullen. To break 

Lie tension, Ruth asked, "Kid, would you please han' me 

lem palm leaves?" He handed the fibers to her, avoiding her 

'es. Suddenly, he spoke. 

"I don't give a damn about cats, nohow." 
Ruth, shocked, looked up from her basket just in time to 
e his back retreating into the crowd. She sighed but did not 
.11 after him and resumed her weaving. 



September returned, and the nights grew cooler. The 
city's residents began filing back in, breathing sighs of relief. 
September returned as always, but the boy didn't. Ruth 
stopped looking for him after summer had ripened into 
autumn, and went back to weaving alone. That is not to say 
she did not miss her "fairy chile"; on the contrary, she had 
grown quite fond of his presence and missed him often. But 
Ruth was used to having to get used to things she could not 
change. And autumn, undaunted, slipped into winter. 

Low-country winters are mercifully mild; winds nip but 
do not bite, and snow is a rarity. That winter was no 
exception. Though business slackened for Ruth in winter, she 
had no trouble, really. Church bazaars and Low-county 
functions were always in need of her wares, and Christmas 
always left Ruth's pockets comfortably full. 

An uneventful winter inched its stingy way towards 
spring, but refused to completely let go its grasp on the 
weather. Just as Ruth could swear she smelled the first crocus 
bulbs beginning to unfold, a gush of frigid air rushed in, and 
even after her many years of seeing spring come and go, she 
began to despair of any spring at all. 

At last, in mid-April, a warm spell stayed long enough 
for Ruth's faith in spring to be renewed. With spring came the 
usual array of flowers - camellias, wisteria, and azaleas, all 
flourishing in the rich Charleston soil. Market Street yawned 
and stretched, readying itself for the long hot tourist season 
that lay ahead. And soon the familiar smells of the 
Marketplace were revived, like spring, and all was well once 
more. 

And the boy returned. 

There was no formal, awkward moment for either of 
them; he just showed up, like a perennial, and began to chat. 

And so the summer ran its course. 

Toward its end, Ruth made a decision. 

"Kid," she said, "I won't be back next year. I been too 
long a weaver; too many long hot days for Ruth. My hands be 
achin'-my back, it sore. I have fambly upstate. They be 
willin' to take me on if I helps out sometimes." 

His eyes had grown wide and he picked at his collar, but 
he spoke calmly enough. "Will I see you again? 

"Sugar," - Ruth tried to smile - "I don't think so." 

He stood up slowly and said nothing. 

"Now lemme go in peace, and you gifts me with a kiss." 
She turned a cheek to him. 

Abashed — he was now eleven — he brushed his lips 
against her and pulled away. He looked at her then and said, 
so softly Ruth wasn't sure she had heard, "My real name is 
Richard." 

Then he walked away slowly without looking back, and 
was swallowed in the crowd. 



Ashley Beiring 
First Place, Prose 
Muse Contest 



EXODUS 

(After Hart Benton's Painting, "Spring On the Missouri") 

Selden Gray 

The sky, a bedspread of black and dark blue, 

releases shots of thunder from 

cannons in the distance. 

The red clay ground is a unified 

sea of murky waves. 

Battered wheels of wood, covered 

with lumps of mud, tremble from the 

strain as two men, wet 

and fatigued, struggle to finish 

the endless load. 

Mattress and stove, sacred treasures 

of the household, are hefted quickly 

into the drenched wagon. 

In the surrounding bed of water, 

like a capsized yacht, a jug floats listlessly. 

The house, now empty, stands weak 

against the force of the expanding ocean. 

As the men conclude their loading, 

they lift their tired eyes from the wagon; 

in the remoteness they see a humble shack, 

already afloat. 



Second Place, Poetry 
Muse Contest 




by Lee Hanes Moore 
Honorable Mention, Art 



HAIKU 



Lee Hanes Moore 



Spinning on his back, 
Close to a wintery death, 
A lone fly buzzes. 



CREATURE 

A insley Cardinal 

In my pond stands a creature — 
Weeds like lizard tongues form 
A circle to protect her 
Porcelain - blue figure. 

Her nude body poses in the golden 

Light, 

Her lavendar face, like 

An actor's mask, rises above the weeds, 

Her mystical eyes 

Glow like tinted glass. 

Her hair sprouts into vegetation — 
Grapes, ferns, 
Flowers, leaves. 

I ask myself, "Why is she 
Rising from the depths? 
Perhaps behind her raspberry 
Lips, the secret she knows is kept. 



Honorable Mention, Poetry 
Muse Contest 



A 



t r/ 

f / / 



Or-- % 







PENCIL DRAWING 

by Missy Ritchie 



MISCELLANY 

Havalan Sealy 

It wouldn't have been that way 

I know it didn't have to be 

Everything is so still 

The stillness leaps out at me and hovers somewhere above my head 

billowing 

A grimace curls above the bed 

Eyes shut tight 

Straining to stop the imagination 

which is now laughing, howling 

I'm sure of it — I hear it 

the cackling imagination. 

I was just not going to elaborate 

to describe feeling upon feeling upon terrible emotion 

with fancy plumed phrases 

stuffed fat with metaphorical miscellany. . . 

No, 

It wouldn't have been that way 

1 know it didn't have to be. 



SHATTERED PANE 

Susan Demeritt 

In one skinny minute the crystal window 
of my heart has been shattered by the harsh, 
cold stone of an unkind word. 

Hurled so suddenly and irrationally, it 
crashed through the pane of my love, making 
only a single and seemingly harmless hole. 

Too soon the small wound grows and creeps until 
the entire window of my affections cracks and falls 
apart; only a few meaningless fragments remain. 

The callous stone gashed the glass once so 

pretty and smooth, leaving it ugly and jagged enough 

to cut any others who might later try to touch it. 

Honorable Mention, Poetry 
Muse Contest 




PEN AND INK DRAWING 

By Kristin Roberts 



PRISM 

Lee Hanes Moore 

Random Master. 

Things go so fast 

If you let them. 

Everything is constantly 

Moving. 

Random is just 

The way things fall, 

Fate turning the wheel. 

An obligatory, 

Obliviated, 

Agitated, 

Frantic-green 

Spectrum of chloroplasts, 

If you let it. 

Or a nucleus of natural prism 

Containing light, 

Bending reality 

Into color. 

White light of 

Accepted reality, 

A blindness 

To true matter. 



WINTER WORDS, LATE IN THE SEASON 

Anna Woolen-Hawkins 

Everyone has learned too well 
the color of winter, 
buff and mauve of birds skirting 
the feeder, woodpeckers 
angled on bark like ladder- 
back chairs. 

Nothing sings in this season 
that has not learned by rote 
what tension to hold, 
what twig will snap back on command. 
A patient sky is smeared with clouds 
that suck last light from the waning hedge; 
a dog barks tireless at a neighbor's grackle. 
Where is the frog's voice? Where is 
the juice that is always promised? 
Late in the season, before the warm reality 
of spring, the bower spider brings 
her tiny bouquet and saddles it 
in the window. We both wait for 
the delicious morsel, the string of light 
that winds down without thought or skill, 
to plop like joy at the center. She hides 
in her guywires like a bride behind white flowers 
concealing her brown fist. 




PENCIL DRAWING 



Clayton Henckel 
Honorable Mention, Art 



•• ... • V k 



\ 

■' • I'. 

• • • *ri . . • 







PEN AND INK DRAWING 



B^ CTzrw Martin 



PRESERVATION 

by Ellen McCallum 



\ i 



— You're here alone. 

— Yes. 

— It's been a while since we've seen you. 

— Oh. . .I've been swamped. 

— And how's your friend? 

— Who? 

— Your friend. 
-Which one? 

— The veggie one with the kinky red hair who always asked 
for milk with her tea. 

— Oh. . .she's fine. 

— Vague. 
-What? 

— You sound vague. Do you not talk now? 

— Oh, we do sometimes. 

— Have a fight? 

— No thanks, just coffee. 

— Ha ha. Am I being too personal? 

— That's okay. We-I- have been here so often you seem like 
an old friend. 

— Well, what'll you have? The usual? 

— Ummm. . .no. Just coffee right now- with milk on the side. 

— Oh yes, I know. I'll be back with it in a minute. 

I scrutinized the tiny magenta and violet flowers which 
perennially adorned the cafe tables. These flowers seemed to 
be the same ones that had been here the last time, when my 
friend had snitched some for her buttonhole. Expanding the 
scope of my gaze to encompass the rest of the familiar oak- 
paneled room in an attempt to avoid the dolor which 
sometimes filled me in my friend's absence, I noted that only 
two other patrons had chosen this cheery refuge from the cold 
afternoon rain. One, a young man, had his back to me; the 
young woman conversing with him over the remains of a late 
lunch seemed familiar — ah yes, we had known each other a 
few years ago, but had since lost touch. And here she sat in 
the same room, ignoring my presence, caught up in the 
charms of her companion. 

— Here you are. 

— Yes. Thanks. 
-Mind if I sit? 

— Won't you get in trouble? 

— Nah. It's slack now. . .So what happened to you two? 

— Mmm? (this coffee's hot.) 

— You and your friend. 

— Next you'll want to hear about my love life and secret 
fantasies. 

— No. I'm just interested in one of my customers, and you 
seem a likely source of information, since you two were 
such good friends. 

— No, not really. She doesn't communicate much with me 
anymore. Most of what I know I've gleaned from mutual 

I friends. 

(^-You have several, I assume? 



— Unfortunately — in that it makes it difficult. 

— Mmmm — "it"? 

— Yeah. Escaping her — forgetting her — letting go — 
whatever. The conversation inevitably includes some 
mention of her. 

— So you want to bid her farewell? 

— I don't know. I mean, you don't just throw away friends 
like that. 

— Then you were close friends. 

— Well, perhaps — for a very short time. But she usually 
distanced herself from me. And while I distanced myself 
from her as I struggled to maintain my identity, I kept 
trying to overcome that distance; one day I just gave up. 

— And that was the end? 

— End: cessation of a course of action, or the particular 
phase of an undertaking? I quit working so hard on my 
end, but that wasn't the terminus of the relationship. She 
still called me, I still wrote her. 

— So you're still friends? 

— Friends? People who know each other and check up on 
each other through mutual friends, and occasionally 
communicate directly, still haunting one another's 
thoughts. We — the "us" that everyone saw — no longer 
exists. 

— More coffee? 

— Sure. 

— Back shortly. 

The young woman's companion had disappeared; I 
presumed him to be in the restroom. I wondered if I should 
wander over and speak to her — did she recognize me. . 
would she remember me? She was studying the Georgia 
O'Keefe print in the corner opposite mine, or perhaps 
memorizing the menu on the chalkboard along the same wall. 
I discerned that I was not in range of her gaze, and decided to 
remain where I was — observing — rather than exchanging 
superficialities. 

— Hi. . .how are you? 

— Oh, hello. Gosh, you've changed. You look good. 

— Thanks. Life's treating you well, I see. 

— Mm, yes. 

— Still at. . .? 

— Oh, yes. Love it. 

— Majoring in art like you'd once planned? 

— (An embarrassed titter) Oh no. Applied math/computer 
science. It's much more marketable. 

— Oh yes, of course. Well it's good to see you. (You've 
changed a lot. . . we wouldn't get along now.) I must move 
on. 

— Good to see you again. 

The buds on my table probably began to shed two days 
ago. Flowers don't last that long in winter. I remembered 
trying to preserve a few my friend and 1 had found growing 
wild on one of our walks last fall; I had pressed them between 



the pages of an old book. Only two or three had turned out to 
resemble anything — most were sadly distorted dry brown 
wads. Stains from their oils had blotted the pages. 

— Use wax paper. (She arranged the flowers on the bare 
table-top.) 

— Why? (Carefully 1 separated the brittle petals of one of the 
reddish wads.) 

— Protects the book and the flowers do better. (Watching) 

— If you say so. . .(Grinning) 

— Some of these didn't turn out so badly. 

— (Leaning across to see) Mmmm. . . no. But what do you do 
with them? 

— Keep 'em. Souvenirs, of sorts. Throw away the bad ones. 
(Glancing at the clock). . . Ohh, getting late. 

— Oh, don't go. 

— (Apologetic smile) I'd stay, but I gotta get home. . .my ride 
to school is coming tonight. We're starting early tomorrow 
morning. 

— Early like eight, or early like five? 

— Oh, around four-thirty. It's a long drive. 



— So. . .this is it (Watching her) . . . Goodbye. 

— Goodbye. I'll miss you. (She reassured herself, hollowly.) 

The young man at the far table had returned and now looked 
over his bill while his companion worshipped. They had, 
apparently, nothing new to say to each other. 

— Anything else? 

— You should get fresh flowers. These are about done for. 

— Hmmm. . . yeah, they are. Want them? You can take them 
home and press them. 

— Oh, we tried that once. Weren't too successful, if you base 
success on how long things last. 

— Use wax paper and an iron. Do you want anything to eat? 

— You going to heat it with an iron? 

— Ha ha -very funny. No this is a classy joint - we use a big 
light bulb. 

— Aargh. No, I think I'll scrape by with coffee today 
thanks. 

— Okey-doke. See you next week? We'll have fresh flowers 

— Hey, special occasion. I'll try to make it. . . Old habits dit 
hard. 



Ellen McCallum 
Second Place, Prose 
Muse Contest 




by Jill Coats 



THE COLOR WAS GREY 

Jo Lee Credle 

It whirred into existence. 

A destruction not yet complete. 

A beginning in depths beyond comprehension. 

Groping feelings spiraling to the top, 

Ripping as they climbed. 

The color was grey, 

And the mood was bizarre. . . 

As if a planet had burst, 
Knowledge had escaped. 
A field that was never to be explored 
Had been surveyed, broken, planted 
With high rise buildings. 

The secret was out and running fast. 
It would never be home again. 
Not as home was. . .then. 

The color was grey, 

And the mood was bizarre. . . 



TIMES SQUARE 

Lei Zimmerman 

Dark rigid towers rising 
Upward into shining stars, 
And heaven, 
Physically cracked, 
Brittle, falls from the sky. 
Darkness covers, no bright 
Stars — just jagged mountainous 
Ridges protruding from Hell. 
Ghosts walk, dark spirits, 
Listening, learning the roar 
Of no sweet music, no 
Champagne. 

Why the destruction of spirit? 
Why can't God just send wind 
And blow these dark, grimy 
Feelings from our hands? 



I 



VOICES 

Cray Cunningham 

1st Voice (She) 

I spend my day as a prisoner 
performing the chores of a maid. 
The dust piles high in the chambers, 
cobwebs drape the walls. 
I am being eaten alive by hungry 
laundry and attacked by last night's 
dinner dishes. The refrigerator yearns 
for the freshness of a box of baking soda 
and the floors are suffocating from 
layers of dirt pile-up. I am ready to 
break out of my destiny into the real 
world. . .but the children will be here 
at 3:00. They will claw me for my last 
piece of bread and scream for the sneaker 
that is drowning in the laundry room. He 
will return tonight with fangs ready and 
a whip in his hand to lock me in the 
kitchen, the fires of hell. 

2nd Voice (He) 

It is 5:00 a.m. and someone is stomping 
in my brain. I must drag myself to 
the ice cold bathroom to wake myself 
up. The arctic water slaps me into 
consciousness. I sluggishly dress 
myself in funeral-colored slacks and 
jacket, cardboard shirts, and boxers. 
My coffee is bitter like the Listerine 
and my toast is like concrete in my 
stomach. The sound of the horn outside 
rings like clock alarms in my ears and 
I arch like the cat at the thought of 
what my day will be. At the office, 
my co-workers resemble inmates all clad 
in identical attire. The xerox machine 
is eating my secretary but I don't have 
time to worry because the papers on my 
desk have trapped me under an avalanche 
of work. The boss is prowling down the 
hall anticipating his jump on the first 
unalert prey. When I am released I must 
fight the cars all the way back to my home, 
where my wife and kids await me with bills 
and broken teeth. 

3rd Voice (It) 

Bump, bang, thud all the way to school. 
The drivers of the bus beat us against 
the seats. We line up by height and 1 
am at the end. . .like a mouse among a 



herd of elephants. We march into the 
ring for the first homework; my teacher puts 
me in the front of the room to be viewed 
like a fat man at the circus. My heart 
runs and my hands are wet. At lunch the 
mechanical line of robots places a stale 
piece of bread and a bowl full of foreign 
matter in my hands. It is not edible so 
I feed it to the other animals. They 
pile us on the bus like cattle in a box 
car to take us to the museum. We all wipe 
our hands on the Monet and run in eight 
different directions. The ring leader 
grabs the fur on my head and puts me 
back in line. We do the buddy system 
and poor Harold is lost. I laugh 
because I hate Harold. . .he stands 
in line in front of me and he stinks 
like the laundry room at home. Mom 
picks me up from the museum; the 
dog licks me like a lollipop all the 
way home. 

Third Place, Poetry 
Muse Contest 




PHOTOGRAPH 

by Sarah McGuire 



JOURNEY 

Amy Agner 



The sun rising to its full height 
In the morning sky, shone brightly, 
Illuminating the dark mourners' faces. 
Death was seen 
As well as heard 
In the cries of the depressed 
And in the sullen steps 
Of their feet. 

The coffin was lowered deeper, 
deeper, 
deeper into the frozen ground 
Where the body was hidden 
From the sun, and 
The spirit was lifted higher 

higher 
higher until it rose above 
Peace and 
Oblivion 
And into 
The sun, 
The stars, 
The sky. 




PENCIL DRAWING 

by Missy Ritchie 



THE CHANGING 



By Gray Cunningham 



Yesterday afternoon at 3:00, my grandfather married his 
secretary. The ceremony was held at Christ Church, the oldest 
Episcopal church in Savannah. It was a windy day and all the 
ladies' hats kept blowing off their heads at the reception in 
Chippewa Square. There was only a handful of people there, 
mostly middle-class families trying to rise in society. Little did 
they know that The Georgia Gazette did not even 
acknowledge the wedding. 

I don't think my mother acknowledged the wedding 
either. 1 heard her, when Joanne said "I do," mumble under 
her breath, "The low-class bitch." I laughed because anyone 
who was thirty-seven and a tennis pro and a former figure 
skater, who wanted to marry a 70-year old man, was nutty in 
my opinion. But then again, Joanne had been his "loyal" 
secretary for ten years, so she probably knew his total assets. 
The wedding was a sad day for me, especially because my 
grandmother and I were so close. 

"Grandma, Grandma," I used to yell when I was 13, and 
at grandmother's house, as I was everyday before ballet class, 
"Please come help me with my tights." I rode the school bus 
to her house and then walked the rest of the way. Everyday I 
stopped to change clothes, and she awaited me with Coke and 
candy. How I looked forward to those days! Granddaddy was 
never there; he was always working. He worked for a 
company named "Johnson, Lane, Space and Smith." He, of 
course, was the Johnson, and the only surviving partner in the 
firm. Because his firm had become a multi-million dollar 
company, he was quite financially secure. I was glad 
Granddaddy was never there, as he was always overly friendly 
with me. He used to say, "Catherine darling, why don't you 
give Granddaddy a hug?" I would, and he would slip me a 
five or ten-dollar bill, whichever was on the top of his 
billfold. It made me feel bought. Buying is something he sure 
could do. He was cited in the paper everyday for giving ten- 
thousand dollars to this charity and twenty-five thousand 
dollars to that school. But why didn't Grandmother have a 
nice car and beautiful jewelry? 

Last Christmas we all gathered at my house to have our 
annual Christmas party. Of course, all the prestigious 
families were invited as they were every year. The custom of 
these parties was to bring one gift to give to your wife, 
husband, or child. This was a special time in our home 
because we traditionally made our gifts ourselves. Daddy 
always said, "We don't want to appear tacky and exchange 
nice gifts, so we will save those for the privacy of our own 
Christmas celebration. "But Daddy," we'd say, "We want 
everyone to see our beautiful gifts!" "No, children. We will 
make our own gifts as planned." This particular Christmas 
party was different, though. There was a certain air outside 
and everyone could sense the mood. It began to snow early in 
the party so everyone was in the Christmas spirit. 
Granddaddy drank more than he should have and I could 



hear his boisturous laugh from the living room. The party we 
elegant with various hors'douvres and sparkling wines. I si 
in the kitchen with Grandmother and we stole pate from tr 
maids as they took the trays out. She always told mi 
"Catherine, never eat more than a morsel in public; you don 
want anyone to think you are overly anxious." I would laug 
and give her a big hug because I loved her so much. 

I heard the crystal bell ring, which was a signal that tl: 
exhanging of presents was beginning. I was excited about ti 
ceremony, but again I knew that Graddaddy was going to gi' 
Grandmother her usual present, a modest pair of go 
earrings or an inexpensive brooch. I wished that one day 1 
would give her a beautiful emerald and diamond neckla' 
that would make all the women there jealous. But I knew, ar. 
they knew, that he was only generous with himself and rj 
name. 

The first couple to exchange presents were Dr. and Mi. 
Carlton. They were my cousins, whom I dearly loved. E. 
Carlton began his exchange by saying, "This gift is a token I 
the love of my dear wife Claudia, whom I cherish. Plea: 
keep this forever with you as a symbol of our love." I heal 
three women sniffle as he brought out this beautiful pair f 
ruby and diamond earrings. The joy on his face ws 
something to remember and the happiness of his wife ws 
immense. 

I began to be a little sad because Granddaddy was nit 
and I knew he did not care what he gave Grandmoth . 
Grandmother could sense this, but she was too proud to le t 
get her down. He stood up to his full six feet and four incls 
and for a minute he looked regal and distinguished. Bui 
knew I was only mesmerized by his charming looks. I vs 
brought back to reality when Grandmother opened a 
beautiful Tiffany box. All the guests grew quiet wh 
amazement as she opened it. Instantly beams of light shot f 
every crystal in the room. And Granddaddy boasted ira 
stirring manner, "Nothing's too good for my wife. Read e 
inscription inside the ring." I was ready to jump out of y 
chair with enthusiasm, but I maintained my dignity, is 
Grandmother always did. She looked so happy. She begaro 
read the engraving and a ghastly look came over her face. I:r 
dignity began to ebb as she lost control of her pride. I raro 
her side and she sobbed to Granddaddy, "You old fool, liw 
could you do this to me after 35 years?" I grabbed the rig 
from her furiously, and read the inscription out loud. I 'is 
not going to let him get away with anything. "To you Joane, 
my true love." A dead silence fell over the room. "It's M 
true, it's not true," he slurred. "The engraver mad' a 
mistake." 

The guests began to make a quick exit, as if afraid toe 
associated with a scandal. For in Savannah, scandal was toe 
avoided at all costs. Right there in my very own librar, I 
watched my Grandmother sink to her lowest, and I glare tf 



" 



i my grandfather with new-found hate. I wanted to say, 
"Marry that whore and be gone from here." 

Three years later, on his wedding day, I vividly 

remember that night. How 1 hated that bastard. His new wife 

had on a gaudy pink dress, with inexpensive shoes. But on her 

■ left hand was a brillant diamond ring with the inscription we 

all knew so well. 1 slipped away from the reception, and 

Daddy gave me a wink. For he knew where I was going. I 

I drove down Abercorn Street, not even able to glance at my 

- grandparents' old house. My mind was flooded with too 

much emotion. It was sad to think 1 would never play there 

p again. Joanne would begin making radical changes to the 

,i outside of their Victorian house. The colors would change, 



and everyone would know who lived there. 

I continued to drive until 1 came to Habershan Street. On 
the final stretch, I parked my car. 1 could see her cheerfully 
wave. I nodded to her nurse who was passing by, and ran to 
give Grandma a hug, only it was harder now that she was 
confined to a wheelchair. 

"How was the wedding, dear?" 

"Tacky." 1 told her. "And empty." 

Then I asked her as I always did, "Grandma, please come 
home with me." She replied, "My dear, this is my home now. 
I'm too proud to start over, and too old to try." 

I hugged her again because I knew she was right. 




PEN AND INK DRAWING 



bv Amv Booth 



BANANA MILKSHAKES 

Carleton Anne Maury 

"Yeah, banana milkshakes." 
Laughter roared from our mouths. 
"Christy get your shoes!" 

Did we care what we looked like? 
A white arc fell from the dark. 
"Look Christy!" and 1 made a wish. 

As frisky as two wild fillies 

we skipped beneath and over the fiery leaves, 

only the sound of clogs on pavement. 

The moon encircled by a glorious ring, 
shone brightly through the leaves, 
as we ran along the tops of walls, 

then pranced across the street. 

We noticed beautiful flowers watching us. 

We desired them and picked them. 

Hearing a noise, we fled — 
No sooner were we laughing, 

two children again. 






/ 







PENCIL DRAWING 

by Mary Lisa Newman 



ANNIE SAMPSON (A NARRATIVE) 

by Lori Oates 

Annie Sampson was the last living member of her entire family. She was proud of that and at the same time a little sac 
She had never married nor had any children, and had outlived all her sister's children. 

She would say, "Yes, sirree, I was born and raised in this old house and will stay here 'til my dyin' day." She would ofte 
brag of her old age and then would tell me to "fetch this old lady some wood." I was glad to do it. Sometimes I would st; 
with Annie on the weekends, spending the days chopping and stacking wood. I would take frequent breaks from Annie 
insistence on talk and on a sip of Paul Jones bourbon. 

She did love her bourbon. You could always count on Annie to reach her thin, brown arms under her bed and pull out 
pint. I remember the first time I met Annie. 1 was fourteen and she was ninety-four. I had brought her a smoked ham from n 
father. She said to me in a teasing voice, "Well, thank-you, Miss Oates. Come in here and warm-up by the stove." I sat dov 
on the floor and Annie took a seat in her rocking-chair. After some small talk, Annie reached under her bed. With the smile 1 
an impish young child, she asked, "You ain't too young for a little sip, are you?" 

"Thanks, Annie, but I'll pass. That stuff will probably make me breathe fire for a week." 

She chuckled a little and then said, "Oh, honey, you gotta give it a chance." 

I put the bottle to my lips and sipped her bourbon. Annie smiled. 

One day 1 went to her house to make vegetable soup and she was grinning from ear to ear. 

"What are you smiling about, old lady?" 1 asked. 

"Why, honey, I'm engaged." She pulled her little arm up to show me a ring wrapped around her finger. 

"Who's the lucky man?" 

"Paul Jones, that's who!" 

"I don't believe I know that gentleman." 

She reached her hand down the wall of the dim kitchen. She pulled up a bottle of Paul Jones bourbon and began cacklir. 
Passing the bottle to me, she said, "I'll share him with you." She was so pleased to have played a trick on me. She then cai; 
towards me and threw her arms around my waist to give me a hug. 

Annie was fairly self-sufficient. Even in the last year of her life, at ninety-nine, I would see her outside plowing in Ir 
garden. Two wood stoves heated her house, lanterns furnished light, and there was an out-house and a well outside )r 
plumbing. She had many friends who brought her food from time to time. 

I would sit with Annie for hours and listen to her stories. She was a ninety-eight-year-old child. She was always full of le 
and never was at a loss for words nor was she senile. We would just pass time on her front porch. I would play her songs on ly 
guitar and she would tell me stories of her childhood. 

If I never respect another human being, I will always respect Annie. Although she is dead now, she will always remainn 
my heart and mind as my favorite person. 



"CEBOLLA CHURCH" 

(After A Painting By Georgia O'Keefe) 

Sally Belt Garey 

The people have all gone now, 
Their eyes filled with despair. 
How did their world plummet 
So quickly before them? 
Why couldn't the will of man 
Overcome the forces of nature? 

They built this church together 
Out of hope and desire. 
A universe in miniature. 
Now the church stands alone, 
A dream surrendered, 
Bare, on the sandy plain. 



A BOLT OF LIGHTNING 

(After Roger Brown's Painting, "Near Miss") 

Anne Goode 

The leaves were fighting each other over 
which way the wind was blowing 
as she walked up the hill. 
Her red dress clung to her stick-like figure. 

The clouds in the sky were billowing into a 
somber gray. 

As I watched from my window, I could see her; 
she was standing in the midst of all the trees. 
I turned to get my coat, turned back in time 
to see lightning zipper across the sky, 

striking the tree beside the girl. 
Her hair blew everywhere; the impact catapulted 
her to the bottom of the hill. 

My neighbors and 1 rushed to find her gone, 
the grass bent, leaving only her silhouette. 



WINTER, 1946 

(After A Painting by Andrew Wyeth) 

Jean Hagan 

Small boy 

tumbling forever 

down the vast barren slope, 

why did your father leave you? 

His coat is your courage; 

let it keep you warm. 

Worn for the liberty of the soil you run on, 

worn for the honor you were always shown. 

Run hard over life and remember, 
for memories are your survival. 

Your arm, the limb of your soul, 
floats in the wind. 
It opens the door to your grief, 
it frees your pain. 



1/ 



THE PURSE 

Sidney Lassiter 

The purse is so simple 

and yet so essential. 
Is it something 

we should do without? 

Should we leave our 

brush and mirror at home 
on the dresser 

where they belong? 

Should we put our 

money in our shoe 
or in our pocket, 

where it can easily disappear? 

Should we hold the 

keys to our house or car 
in our slippery and 

forgetful hands? 

Should we leave our 

loved ones in tiny frames 
on the walls 

so they won't wrinkle or tear? 

The purse, so simple, so essential, 
that extension of ourselves, 

is something we want 
to leave behind. 










PHOTOGRAPH 

by Jo Lee Credle 



HAIKU 



Anne Goode 



Birds released from hands 
fly skyward in bright array. 
Balloons flock to clouds. 



I 



REFLECTIONS ON A CAROLINA TWILIGHT 

Ashley Beirig 

But it was those lacy blue-green Southern twilights 
finally brought me home again, 

Those special seconds when the summer day lingers, 
unsure of herself, 

And relinquishes her place to the cool darkness, 
those 

azalea-pink 

glimpses of sunset 
viewed from behind dim curtains of evergreen and oak. 
Blinking, 

you risked losing them. 
That musky, heady Southern scent 
of moss, 

magnolias, and 

time 
just called me back. 

The eerie calls of the last doves 

and the first crickets. 

I needed the eternal moment 

where the South holds her breath, 
where no sound is heard 

but the sun slipping away, 
the 

moment that shadows 

fade to 

darkness. 



i